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Précautions à prendre en cas d’expatriation

Before accepting an  expatriation , there are some precautions to take… Check that you are protected in such  essential aspects  as retirement,   taxes   or even returning to France.


There are two types of contracts when you are an expatriate. Firstly, there is the secondment contract which is provided for French employees who go to work abroad for a period of 1 to 5 years. In this case, it is maintained under the French social security system. If he leaves for a period of more than 5 years, he then has an expatriate contract. In both cases, it is always preferable to request the application of French law because it is the most favorable, particularly in matters of dismissal, paid leave and working hours…


When going to work abroad, French expatriate employees must also know whether or not they continue to benefit from unemployment insurance in the event of termination of their contract. In principle, all French employers must insure their employees against the risk of job loss. French employees must therefore check that their employer contributes to unemployment insurance. This can be verified either by a mention in the employment contract, or by a mention on the pay slip (Pôle emploi contribution line).


An employee who benefits from a secondment contract remains affiliated to French social security and continues to benefit from the same rights and obligations as an employee working in France. The expatriate employee is, for his part, subject to the social security system of the country of expatriation. If the local regime is insufficient, they always have the possibility of voluntarily insuring themselves under the expatriate regime with the Caisse des Français de l’enseignement.


The expatriate has no choice of tax domicile. If France has signed a bilateral tax treaty with the country of expatriation, it is the treaty that sets the place of taxation and the type of income concerned and taxed. If France has not concluded a bilateral tax treaty, the expatriate is only liable for tax on income from French sources. Taxation is done by deduction at source according to a tax scale.


Before leaving, the expatriate must negotiate certain points with his employer. He must ask to benefit from a right to repatriation to France. The employer will then cover his repatriation costs and those of his family, whether it be the move or the plane tickets. The employee must also check that he will be reinstated in an equivalent position on his return to France. If the reinstatement of the employee is impossible, the company is forced to dismiss him for a real and serious reason. If this is not the case, the expatriate can challenge his dismissal with the industrial tribunal.

DAMY Law Firm , Nice, Precautions to be taken in case of expatriation, Update 2016