Understanding the Contents of a French Pay Slip

French Pay Slip




How to Read a French Pay Slip?

As of January 1st 2018, a “simplified” pay slip template became mandatory in France. This new template reduced in half the number of lines on the French pay slip. As a result, the pay slip sequences became clearer, structured by expense accounts.

Nevertheless, understanding exactly what each line of a French pay slip means can still be difficult: from headlines that are too general, confusion about certain calculations or simply too much information at once…

Here is a pay slip example produced by FredPayroll experts for the month of January 2019. It includes all current legal notices, as well as novelties such as income tax waived at source or the untaxed overtime hours.


French pay slip example




Mandatory Information on the French Pay Slip

Identity of the employer

  • Company name
  • Address
  • SIRET number: establishment identifier of 14 digits, where the first 9 digits represent the SIREN number (the company’s unique French business identification number, issued when the company is created)
  • NAF code: assigned according to the company’s main activity and serving the French national institute of statistics (INSEE)

Pay slip references

  • Covered period
  • Date of payment
  • Validity dates of the employment contract during the period covered by the pay slip

Paid leave

  • CP N-1 points to the days of paid leave accumulated during the previous year. The usual time frame considered for the accumulation of paid leave is June 1st – May 31st
  • CP N records paid leave days of the current period
  • Acquis: number of days to be taken, acquired by the employee
  • Total pris: total number of paid leave days taken by the employee
  • Solde: total number of paid leave days remaining to be taken

Staff and Social Security number

  • The staff number is the employee’s registration number within the company
  • The French Social Security number (NoSécu)

Employee’s identity and address

Details of the position held by the employee

  • Start date on the job
  • Job name: position held within the company
  • Seniority within the company
  • Qualification (Qualif): employee status according the collective agreement (employé, cadre)
  • Employee classification according to the collective agreement
  • Hourly minimum wage (SMIC horaire) fixed by the law in euros
  • Social Security threshold (Plafond sécu) fixed by the law – used

Collective agreement

  • Screen printing industry (industrie de la sérigraphie) : the collective agreement the employee belongs to needs to be stated at the bottom of the pay slip

Also at the bottom of the pay slip, there should be a link towards the portal www.service-public.fr, where additional information about the pay slip and its new presentation can be found.



The Different Sections of the Pay Slip (the pay slip body)

Base salary (Salaire de base)

The base salary corresponds to the gross salary before social security deductions and welfare payments. It does not include any bonuses or overtime payments.

Gross salary (Salaire brut)

The gross salary represents the amount due to the employee under the terms of his/her employment contract, before any mandatory tax deductions. The gross salary includes the remuneration of his/her actual working hours, as well as different commissions or bonuses. It also takes into account sick leaves, paid leaves or bank holidays.

Compensation of paid labour leads to the payment of contributions, meant to cover different risks. These are then grouped into different blocks of the pay slip, according to the covered risk. This is actually one of the most important novelties brought about by the new “simplified” pay slip.

Health (Santé)

  • Social Security – sickness, maternity, disability, death
  • Supplemental incapacity, invalidity and death insurance
  • Supplemental health insurance

Workplace injuries / Occupational diseases (Accidents du travail / Maladies professionnelles)

Pension (Retraite)

  • Capped social security
  • Uncapped social security
  • Supplementary Tranche 1
  • Supplementary Tranche 2
  • Additional pension

Family / Social welfare (Famille / Sécurité Sociale)

Unemployment insurance (Assurance chômage)

  • Unemployment
  • AGS tax (cover against the risk of non-payment of wages)
  • APEC tax (compulsory complementary unemployment contribution for the operation of the APEC, an association for the employees with the “cadre” status)

Other contributions to be paid by the employer (Autres contributions dues par l’employeur)

This section merges the contributions due strictly by the employers: a transport contribution or versement transport, a contribution to the national fund for housing assistance or FNAL, a contribution to finance actions for the autonomy of the elderly or disables or CSA, a contribution called forfait social, an apprenticeship tax or taxe d’apprentissage, a contribution to finance labour unions or contribution au financement des organisations syndicales etc.)

Statutory contributions or contributions imposed by the collective agreement (Cotisations statutaires ou prévues par la convention collective)

This section is reserved to very special cases, as it is rather rare that a collective agreement imposes a specific contribution, other than the supplementary welfare contributions already mentioned in the Health section.

Deductible CSG – generalised social contribution, income tax-free (CSG déductible)


Employer Contributions Exemptions

This sections covers all exemptions from social contributions in favour of the employer, such as the general reduction of employer contributions (commonly referred to as Réduction Fillon).

Total deductions (Total des retenues)

Net taxable income (Net imposable)

The net taxable income is the gross salary, out of which the employee contributions are deducted.

Non-deductible CSG/CRDS, taxable (CSG/CRDS non déductible)

  • Non-deductible CSG (generalised social contribution) is only partially deductible from the taxable income. It participates to the financing of the Social Security system.
  • CRDS : the social debt reimbursement contribution was created to finance the social security debt reimbursement fund (Caisse d’amortissement de la dette sociale – CADES)

Amount to be paid before income tax (Net à payer avant impôt sur le revenu)

The amount to be paid before income tax is different from the net taxable income because certain contributions are non-deductible from the income tax base.

The line “dont évolution de la rémunération liée à la suppression des cotisations salariales chômage et maladie”, meaning “out of which the compensation growth related to the elimination of employee health and unemployment contributions”, underlines the surplus in the amount to be paid before income tax brought about by these governmental measures.



Income Tax

Tax base (Base)

The income tax base is the net taxable income presented here above.

Tax rate (Taux)

  • Non-personalized rate or neutral rate: used if the employee chose not to transmit his/her tax rate to his/her employer or if the tax administration didn’t communicate the tax rate to the employer. This tax rate is based on a tax grid, depending on the amount of the salary.
  • Personalized rate: calculated based on the declared household income for the previous year. The two persons within the household will have the same tax rate.
  • Individualized rate: calculated by the tax administration for every person in a taxable household instead of an unique tax rate for both partners in a household.

Amount (Montant)

The amount due as income tax is obtained by multiplying the tax base by the tax rate.

Net amount paid in euros (Net payé en euros)

The amount paid to the employee by the employer. It is obtained by deducting the amount of income tax from the amount to be paid before income tax.


Pay Slip Cumulations

Cumulations of hours and days

  • Hours by period (heures période): number of hours worked in the month
  • Cumulation of hours (cumul heures): number of hours worked since the beginning of the current year
  • Overtime cummulation (cumul h. sup): number of overtime hours since the beginning of the current year
  • Recovery days balance :
    • Solde rep. remp.: number of recovery days cumulated by the employee in the month
    • Solde rep. récup.: number of recovery days taken by the employee in the month

Salary cumulations

  • Bases cumulation (cumul bases): sum of base salaries since the beginning of the current year
  • Gross salary cumulation (cumul bruts): sum of gross salaries since the beginning of the year
  • Taxable income cumulation (cumul imposable): sum of net taxable salaries since the beginning of the year
  • Enhanced overtime cumulation (cumul H majorées): sum of enhanced overtime hours since the beginning of the year

Reduced social charges (allègement cotisations)

This line includes all employer contributions exemptions and reductions financed by the state.

Total to be paid by the employer (total versé employeur)

The global salary cost for the employer (gross salary + employer contributions)




How do you know if the pay slip is correct?

The different tax rates vary depending on the payroll indicators fixed by the French administration, on the new laws that are voted regularly and on the evolution of the 528 collective agreements regulating the relationships between employers and employees of various fields of activity. FredPayroll’s experts are joining forces to guarantee you a smooth payroll management process and pay slips that are compliant with the applicable regulations at any time.

To ask for a quote, please fill in our contact form or call us at +33 (0)1 44 06 07 097.


If you want to read this article in French, it is available here.

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