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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure FR-2020-11/741 Updated – measures in France

Extension of short-time work to new categories of workers

Extension du chômage partiel à de nouvelles catégories de travailleurs

Country France , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 12 March 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Employment protection and retention
– Income support for people in employment (e.g., short-time work)
Author Frédéric Turlan (IRshare) and Eurofound
Measure added 20 April 2020 (updated 20 January 2022)

Background information

A decree of 16 April 2020 extends short-time work to new categories of workers who were not covered by the usual scheme. In general, the short-time work scheme entails that during the period of partial activity :

  • The employer receives from the public authorities (Services and Payment Agency - ASP) an allowance equivalent to a share of the hourly pay of the employee placed in partial activity;
  • The employee receives a partial activity allowance from the employer in lieu of salary for the period during which the employee is placed in partial activity. This text sets out the methods for calculating the allowance paid to the employer and benefit paid to workers. These new rules allow for the coverage of: employees with an annual working time account (forfaits jours) in days or hours - i.e. employees whose working hours cannot be fixed in advance (often managers); civil aviation crews, freelance journalists (who are paid for each article ordered); salespeople with the status of sales representatives (VRP); home-based employees paid on a piecework basis; intermittent entertainment workers and models. The text also clarifies the compensation of employees benefiting from variable remuneration elements

Content of measure

The provisions of the decree make it possible to calculate compensation for certain employees whose work organisation rules required special consideration. This decree is applicable to short-time compensation claims submitted from 12 March 2020 to 31 December 2020. For the two main categories of workers covered, the rules are the following:

  1. Employees with a "forfait jours" in hours and days For employees whose working hours are fixed by a 'forfait-jours" agreement in hours or days over the year, both the allowance and the short-time work allowance are determined by taking into account the number of hours or days or half-days not worked by the employee. The number of hours taken into account is determined by converting a number of days or half-days into hours according to the following flat-rate periods:

  2. a half-day not worked corresponds to 3.5 hours not worked;

  3. a day not worked corresponds to 7 hours not worked;
  4. a week not worked corresponds to 35 hours not worked.

Days of paid leave and rest taken during the period of suspension or reduction of activity, as well as public holidays not worked which correspond to working days, are converted into hours according to the same procedures.

  1. Civil aviation flight crew In the case of civil aviation flight crews, whose working hours are organised in the form of alternating days of activity and days of inactivity, the number of hours giving rise to the payment of the allowance and the partial activity allowance shall be determined on the basis of a number of eligible days of inactivity. The latter is determined by taking into account the difference between the number of days of inactivity recorded and the number of days of inactivity normally guaranteed to the employee over the period in question. The number of days of inactivity obtained is converted into hours according to the following rule: each day of inactivity in excess of the number of days of inactivity guaranteed corresponds to 8.75 hours off work, within the limit of the legal weekly duration (35 hours) over the period in question.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

31 December 2021

A decree of 30 December perpetuates the methods for calculating the indemnity and the short-time working allowance specific to certain groups, which were not, or only partially, covered before the COVID-19 crisis. This applies in particular to employees with an annual day rate ("forfait jours"), sales representatives, entertainment workers and senior executives.

Use of measure

No data available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Workers in non-standard forms of employment
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


The government has probably consulted social partners in the design phase of the measure

Views and reactions

Not available.


  • 27 March 2020: Ordonnance n° 2020-346 du 27 mars 2020 portant mesures d'urgence en matière d'activité partielle (
  • 16 April 2020: Décret no 2020-435 du 16 avril 2020 portant mesures d’urgence en matière d’activité partielle (
  • 31 December 2021: Décret n° 2021-1918 du 30 décembre 2021 relatif aux modalités de calcul de l'indemnité et de l'allocation d'activité partielle et de l'allocation d'activité partielle spécifique en cas de réduction d'activité durable (


Eurofound (2020), Extension of short-time work to new categories of workers, measure FR-2020-11/741 (measures in France), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.