Are you setting up your business and starting the process of registering your first employees in France? One of the essential steps is to register with Urssaf so that your employees are enrolled in the French health insurance and unemployment insurance schemes.
In France, the “Union de recouvrement des cotisations de sécurité sociale et d’allocations familiales” (Union for the collection of Social Security and family allowance contributions) more commonly known as Urssaf, is tasked, among other things, with collecting contributions from companies to pay them to the public bodies responsible for health and unemployment.
Urssaf is made up of 22 regional offices, some with specific roles. For example, Urssaf Alsace is specifically responsible for international companies with no establishments in France who have at least one employee in France. The dedicated department within Urssaf Alsace is known as the Centre national firmes étrangères (National Center for foreign companies) or CNFE.
As an employer in France, you are required to declare and pay employer and employee contributions to Urssaf Alsace if your employees are to benefit from Social Security and unemployment insurance.
All companies with at least one employee in France are required to pay contributions to Urssaf. If your company opens up a subsidiary or local structure, you will be required to join the general scheme. If your company does not have an establishment in France, your contact will be the Centre national firmes étrangères (National Center for Foreign Companies).
You will need to complete and sign the E0 form and send it to:
Centre National Firmes Etrangères – CNFE – 67945 STRASBOUG CEDEX 9
Once your registration is complete, you will receive your SIRET (identification number) from INSEE and your ID to log in to your CNFE account which you will need in order to declare your contributions.
The CNFE provides you with the TFE Titre firmes étrangères (Foreign companies) service, which will allow you to declare your new hires online, calculate your contributions for all your employees, and pay your contributions. The CNFE will then send your contributions to the various social protection bodies (including Urssaf for healthcare and unemployment via the DSN and Humanis International for pensions). By using the free TFE service all your procedures are easier to manage.
As an employer, a number of charges will be applied to your employees’ gross earnings. Some charges are funded by the employer (employer’s charges) and others by the employee (employee’s charges). The employee receives a net salary before tax, meaning that all employer and employee charges have already been deducted. The charges are used to fund various risks such as illness, disability, death, old age or unemployment.
The contribution collected by the TFE will include all of these charges and will be calculated as a percentage of gross salary including bonuses and variable compensation. Under French law, a minimum contribution basis must be paid. Payment is made quarterly for up to 9 employees.
To estimate the amount of contributions to be paid, please use the Urssaf calculator.
Importantly, the declaration to Urssaf will allow your employees to be reimbursed by French Social Security if they have to pay for any medical services. In addition to this basic reimbursement, as an employer you are also required to take out a supplementary health insurance plan to top up the Social Security reimbursements.