Hello, dear employers!
UAtalents team together with White&Case company collected frequently asked questions and prepared information about how to hire Ukrainians as a French employer. We want to give you more understanding of how it works in France. Generally, we divided information into 5 different topics and so each topic we are going to analyze each separately:
- Residence and work permit;
- Employment contract;
- Social security insurance;
- Remote regular employee;
- Remote contract employee.
So, let's understand in more detail!
Residence and work permit
- Are French employers allowed to employ refugees from the Ukraine?
The French government offers a 6-month temporary protection visa to all refugees from the Ukraine that operates as residence permit, renewable for a maximum of 3 years. The work permit is automatically granted together with the residence permit, without any particular additional formality.
The work permit issued under the temporary protection visa is generally not limited to certain areas of work or dependent on the remuneration level. However special professional access requirements (e.g. a license to practice medicine) need to be complied with.
2. Is there a possibility to employ refugees before they receive a visa?
In principle the employee is obliged to submit the residence permit to the employer before the start of the employment. Since the issuance of this residence permit can take several weeks, especially if many people apply for the permit at the same time, the refugee will receive an interim resident certificate. The refugee is allowed to work with this certificate when the label “Employment permitted” is mentioned.
3. Which documents must the employer request from the employee?
French employers wishing to recruit a Ukrainian refugee holding a residence permit must verify with the local State services (“Prefecture”), the existence and extent of the work authorization included in the permit.
Furthermore, he is obliged to keep a copy of the residence permit in the personnel file of the employee.
- Is it necessary to provide an employment agreement in Ukrainian language?
2. Does the employment agreement need to provide for specific provisions?
The employer must not employ a Ukrainian citizen without a work permit. It is therefore recommended to stipulate that the commencement of the employment is subject to the condition precedent that the Ukrainian refugee provides for a work permit.
Social security insurance
- Do French employers have to pay social security contributions for employed Ukrainian refugees?
For Ukrainian citizens employed in France, the French labour law provisions apply. Insofar as France and Ukraine have not concluded a bilateral social security agreement, all Ukrainian employees in France are subject to French social security law as any other employee. This includes compulsory French health, nursery care, unemployment, pension insurance, disability and death. Therefore, the employer is obliged to withdraw the employee’s share of social charges from the employee’s gross salary and pay it to the French Social Security together with the statutory employers’ share of social charges.
2. Does the employer have to request particular documents from the Ukrainian refugee?
No, the French Social security code stipulates that affiliation in the general French social security system is compulsory for Ukrainian refugees working legally in France. It is the worker’s responsibility to provide the French Health Insurance with his/her residence permit and a civil status document confirming his/her identity, which must be accompanied by a translation into French.
After validation, a French social security number will be assigned to the Ukrainian refugee, who needs to provide the employer with this number for payroll consideration.
Remote regular employee
- Is it feasible for an employer in France to employ Ukrainian citizens that still reside in Ukraine as (regular) employees?
It is feasible for a France-based employer to remotely employ Ukrainian citizens that still live in the Ukraine. The employment relationship will then generally be governed by Ukrainian employment, tax and social security law. For this reason it is recommended to employ the Ukrainian individual under an Ukrainian employment law agreement as compelling Ukrainian law would apply anyway. However, please see also under “Engagement of Ukraine-Based Private Entrepreneurs” for an alternative to a classic employment.
2. Is it possible to remotely employ Ukrainian citizens that reside in the neighbour countries of Ukraine as (regular) employees?
It is also feasible to remotely employ Ukrainian citizens that have fled to the neighbour countries such as Poland, Hungary, or Moldova, provided the employer complies with the legislation applicable in these countries in particular regarding immigration and work permit.
If the country is a Member State of the European Union, the employment agreement is governed by the law of the country that the parties determine. However, practically speaking, it is usually advisable to apply the local employment legislation of the country in which the employee carries out his work unless the parties want to apply a more favourable law as any choice of law must not result in a less favourable employment regime for the employee.
If the country is not a member state of the European Union, the labour law of the country in which the Ukrainian citizen works is applicable.
3. Is the employer of a (regular) employee obliged to pay tax in Ukraine?
France and Ukraine entered into a non-double taxation treaty. According to this treaty, profits of a company residing in one treaty country are generally only taxed in such country, unless the company carries on business in the other contracting state through a permanent tax establishment, in which case the profits assigned to the permanent establishment are taxable locally.
Remote contract employee
- Is it feasible for a company based in France to employ a Ukrainian citizen that still resides in Ukraine as an independent contractor?
Generally speaking and subject to verifying Ukrainian laws, a company based in France could consider engaging an (independent) “private entrepreneur”, provided it complies with the local legislation on independent workers and does not have a permanent establishment in the Ukraine. If we consider some basic requirements applicable in France, the independent worker must normally manage his business outside any supervision coming from the client, does not represent the client or enter into agreements on his behalf, must also be registered as a private entrepreneur, and is responsible for the payment of all his social charges and taxes.
2. Is the employer (principal) of a Ukraine-based private entrepreneur obliged to pay tax in Ukraine?
France and Ukraine entered into a non-double taxation treaty. According to this treaty, engaging an independent worker in Ukraine is not per se creating a permanent establishment from a tax perspective if these independent workers comply with the local legislation on independent work.
3. What should be avoided in order to safeguard the status of the private entrepreneur as independent contractor?
Generally speaking and subject to verifying Ukrainian laws, the independent worker must normally manage his business outside any supervision coming from the client, does not represent the client or enter into agreements on his client’s behalf, he must also be registered as private entrepreneur and is responsible for the payment of all his social charges and taxes. The individual should use its own equipment, including office/apartment space, and the email address and signatures should make the contractor status visible.