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Even for a summer job, and even if he is a minor, an employee has rights! Beware of abuse by unscrupulous employers.


The summer job is necessarily on a fixed-term contract (CDD). This is a written contract that must specify the reasons for hiring (temporary increase in activity, replacement, or seasonal employment). Since it is a CDD, it must include all the conditions specific to the contract, namely the duration of work, the duration of the contract, the collective agreement and, possibly, the duration of the trial period. Subject to the provisions specific to the work of a minor, the employee has all the advantages available to the rest of the employees of the company: advantages related to illness, provident insurance, catering costs or of displacement.


In principle, one can start working during the holidays from the age of 14. However, in order to protect children, work between the ages of 14 and 16 is highly regulated, and requires the company to submit a request to the labor inspector. For minors between 16 and 18 years old, a simple parental authorization is sufficient.


For minors, work cannot exceed 8 hours per day and 35 hours per week. Harsh or dangerous work is prohibited. Minors under the age of 18 are also prohibited from working at night between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., and have an imposed rest period of 12 hours. For those under 16, the conditions are even stricter: night work is prohibited between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., and the rest period is imposed at 2 p.m.


Given that summer job employees are on fixed-term contracts, their remuneration must therefore be identical to that of an employee of the company on permanent contracts, with the same qualification and in the same position, or with the same entrusted activity. . The remuneration cannot be lower than the SMIC (€10.85 per hour since May 2022), nor lower than the contractual minimum (the minimum provided for the activity entrusted under the collective agreement).
There are exceptions with regard to minors: an employee under the age of 17 can be paid 80% of the minimum wage, and an employee between the ages of 17 and 18 can be paid 90% of the minimum wage. However, these exceptional derogations can only be implemented if the employee does not have 6 months of experience in the company’s branch of activity. Failing this, the SMIC or agreed minimum must be paid.


With regard to the condition of the employee on fixed-term contracts, at the end of their contract, they benefit from the compensatory indemnity for paid leave, which corresponds to 10% of the sums received during their contract. On the other hand, the precariousness bonus will not be due if the “summer job” contract corresponds to a seasonal job. If it is for another reason (such as the replacement of an absent employee), he may benefit from the precariousness bonus, which corresponds to 10% of the sums received during his contract.


Given that the employee in the summer job receives a salary, he will have to declare and pay his taxes. However, if the employee is under 26, if he is a student or high school student, he may benefit from a tax exemption within the limit of 3 monthly minimum wages (corresponding to €4,399.86), whether in own or attached to the tax household of his parents. Be careful however, this annual exemption limit corresponds to all the sums which will be received by the employee during the year, and not only during the summer.


A particular type of seasonal contract, the harvest contract allows recruitment for the harvest. It is limited to 1 month, but an employee can conclude several successively, with the same employer or another, without exceeding 2 months for a calendar year.
As the harvest contract constitutes a derogation, all employees, including employees on paid leave and civil servants, can be hired through this contract.
Regarding illegal seasonal workers on the Côte d’Azur, the hunt is on. Employment in the seasonal nautical activities sector was particularly targeted by Urssaf controllers. The fight against undeclared work will focus this summer on the coast.
In the line of sight: hotels, restaurants and cafés – a sector which has seen the number of summer employees increase by 25% in the region. But also boat rental companies, donut merchants and other snacks on the beaches.
This commotion, in order to protect the tourist economy, ensures healthy competition between companies and protect part of the economy of the PACA region, a lever for economic growth.
DAMY Law Firm, Nice, Seasonal jobs, Update 2022