European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

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-2020-12/478 Updated – measures in France

Exceptional support measures for intermittent workers and employees in the cultural sector

Mesures exceptionnelles de soutien aux intermittents et salariés du secteur culturel

Country France , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 15 March 2020 – 31 December 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Income support for unemployed
Author Frédéric Turlan (IRshare) and Eurofound
Measure added 10 April 2020 (updated 30 July 2021)

Background information

On 19 March, the government has announced exceptional support measures for intermittent entertainment workers (which corresponds to a special status allowing workers in the entertainment sector to access unemployment compensation between two short-term employment contracts) and employees in the cultural sector in the context of the health crisis. The aim is not to penalize those who receive unemployment benefit and risk losing it during the pandemic, as well as those who no longer acquire rights to unemployment insurance due to the cessation of all activities in the cultural and performing arts sector. This measure has been adopted through the Ordonnance No. 2020-324 of 25 March 2020.

Content of measure

In order to limit the social impacts of the health crisis linked to the COVID-19 epidemic, which particularly affects intermittent workers in the entertainment sector (performers and seasonal workers) and other employees (short contracts, etc.) in the cultural sector, the government has decided to neutralise the period starting on 15 March and ending at the end of the confinement of the French population for:

  • The calculation of the reference period giving entitlement to unemployment insurance and social rights for casual entertainment workers (performers and technicians), so as not to penalise casual workers who cannot work and acquire rights during this phase of the epidemic.
  • The calculation and payment of unemployment insurance benefits for casual entertainment workers (performers and technicians) and other employees (short contracts, etc.) in the cultural sector, so that people who lose their rights during this phase of the epidemic can continue to receive compensation.


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

31 May 2021

The transcription of the announcement made on 11 May 2021 (see previous update) have been set in the law 2021-689 of 31 May 2021 (see source section). The law allows the government to take measures until 31 August to extend, by ordinance, the duration of unemployment compensation for intermittent workers in the entertainment industry who have exhausted their rights. The end of the "white year" scheme allowing intermittent workers to continue receiving compensation since 1 March 2020 was set for 31 August 2021 and should be postponed by the announced ordinance to 31 December 2021.

11 May 2021

On the occasion of the National Council of the Entertainment Professions (Conseil national des professions du spectacle, CNPS) meeting on 11 May, the Ministers of Labour and Culture detailed, in a press release, the follow-up to be given to the 'blank year' scheme for entertainment workers. Firstly, it will be extended by four months, until 31 December 2021 instead of 31 August 2021. In addition, in view of their situation on that date, intermittent workers will be able to benefit from three safety nets in 2022, namely an extension of the period of affiliation beyond 12 months within the limit of their last opening of rights, a temporary suppression of the conditions of eligibility, as well as adjusted terms of the professionalisation and solidarity allowance (Allocation de professionnalisation et de solidarité).

According to the ministry of Labour, 'these measures will allow those who, due to insufficient periods worked, would not be able to renew their benefit entitlements to benefit from access to an allowance throughout 2022' explains the ministry's statement'.

Use of measure

According the last data available, 192,907 workers were employed under the status of "intermittents du spectacle" between April and June 2019.

On 18 March, the trade union SFA-CGT (Syndicat français des artistes interprètes - CGT) estimated that more than 15,000 performers were deprived of work and income.

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
Public employment service
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies

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

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Sectoral or branch level


If the first decisions have been taken only through some informal bilateral discussions between the ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Culture and the social partners of the live performance, have held several meetings to adapt and complete the first set of measures. The last updated measures to support the intermittent workers within the industry sectoral-level dialogue have been decided during a tripartite committee (Conseil national des professions du spectacle, CNPS).

Views and reactions

Even the measure is decided by the government, representative social partners on sectoral level have been consulted by the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Culture, before the announcement of temporary adjustment of the specific unemployment scheme of the "intermittents" of the live performance and audiovisual sector.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      J - Information And Communication J59 Motion picture, video and television programme production, sound recording and music publishing activities
      R - Arts, Entertainment And Recreation R90 Creative, arts and entertainment activities
      R91 Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities

This case is not occupation-specific.


  • 19 March 2020: Mesures exceptionnelles de soutien aux intermittents et salariés du secteur culturel dans le cadre de la crise sanitaire (Press release) (
  • 25 March 2020: Ordonnance n° 2020-324 du 25 mars 2020 portant mesures d'urgence en matière de revenus de remplacement (
  • 11 May 2021: Ministry of Labour, Press release, 11 May 2021, National Council for the entertainment professions on 11 May 2021: Elisabeth BORNE and Roselyne BACHELOT-NARQUIN presented the measures planned for the intermittent entertainment workers from 1 September 2021.
  • 31 May 2021: LOI n° 2021-689 du 31 mai 2021 relative à la gestion de la sortie de crise sanitaire (


Eurofound (2020), Exceptional support measures for intermittent workers and employees in the cultural sector, measure FR-2020-12/478 (measures in France), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


Eurofound publications based on EU PolicyWatch

30 January 2023


Measures to lessen the impact of the inflation and energy crisis on citizens

Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.


12 September 2022


First responses to cushion the impact of inflation on citizens

Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


12 September 2022


Policies to support EU companies affected by the war in Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.


5 July 2022


Policies to support refugees from Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses of EU Member States, including those of the social partners and other civil society actors, enabling refugees to exercise their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.


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