France - how to monitor daily/weekly rest breaks

We have an organization of 10 employees in France - 100% cadres, 50% home based, 100% with significant business travel and working time expressed in days.  We do not have an electronic time and attendance system.

Is it therefore inevitable that we need to use excel spreadsheets to ensure that employees are meeting the requirement of an 11 hour daily rest break and taking compensatory leave when needed?

I am interested in how other organizations have demonstrated compliance in this area?  


  • Mark
    How do the employees give you the data for the spread sheet? Phone, email? etc.,
  • Mark

    Even if your staff are employed as "cadre au forfait" (working times is in days), as an employer you should nonetheless record actual worked hours, assimilated working hours, and and absences. This validated data will be required in the event of audits by the labour inspectorate (inspection du travail), or in the event of any claims at the prud'hommes (employment tribunal) - this is so that you can demonstrate that the company has actively controlled conformity with French (and European) working time regulations. The WTD still applied for "cadre au forfait" in terms of daily/weekly maximum hours and minimum rest time within and between between stints of work.
    Failure to keep these records usually results in easy brownie points for the labour inspector and quite expensive fines for the employer. So "yes", you must find a light internal system and ensure it it applied.
  • In reply to David Perry:

    Proposal is by email to the HR team after approval by the manager
  • In reply to Ray:

    Thanks Ray. I think there must be a market out there for an app to manage this in more technology enabled way! Filling in spreadsheets when you are frequently travelling will always be a bind. Being home based makes it impossible to have an electronic T&A system. Have you ever been audited by the labour inspectorate or is more the threat of an audit that drives compliance?
  • In reply to Mark David:

    Making an app based on status quo rules is easy - ensuring that it continues to be compliant with rapidly evolving legislation is another kettle of fish - there lies the true cost of this type of service and I'm not sure anyone is willing to put their legal neck on the line in the same way they do for apps deigned for sharing cars or ordering pizzas....
    My company currently has about 75.000 people in France (about the same around the rest of the world), spread across several employers.Consequently we have some heavyweight T&A systems that tie into payroll.
    I would guess that in any given year several dozen sites will be audited, and a few disputes will end up in the labour courts (long process at least 9 months before anything gets to a pre-hearing and a year or two thereafter). The hassle of complying is preferable to being found non-compliant in an administrative audit - that will often bring about an annual follow-up audit for 3-4 years.

    Working from home is not necessarily incompatible with logging into a central system. I've spend today working from home and have interacted with 5 or 6 central systems..... expense claims, T&A, register of performance shares......