Have questions? Ask us!

Annual Leave and RTT Days in France: A Guide for Employers

France has one of the most generous annual leave entitlements in the world, something that employers will have to plan around.  You should be prepared to be without your French employees for up to seven weeks during the year due to statutory entitlements.

If you are new to employing in France you will want to know how the leave entitlement is calculated, taken and carried over if unused.  This guide will give you basic rules so that you will know what your employees expect when it comes to annual leave.

How many annual leave days are French employees entitled to?

French employees are entitled to two and a half days of leave for every month worked, which equals 25 working days of leave per year.  The employee must have worked for at least one month during a specific time period: from June 1 the previous year to May 31 of the current year.  The actual dates of leave are by mutual agreement or decided by the employer.

Subscribe to get more insights like this.

How many RTT days are French employees entitled to?

In addition to the statutory annual leave, employees are also entitled to ‘RTT’ days (reduction of working time). The government policy behind this is that employees should not work more than 218 days per year, so a calculation is used to arrive at the RTT days. 

The number is different each year due to variances in public holidays.  Any days that exceed the 218-day maximum, would be added to the 25 annual leave days, usually around 10 additional days.

Can unused RTT leave be carried over to the next year in France?

If for some reason the employee does not take their RTT days in the current calendar year, those days can be carried over until March 31 of the following year.

Client Case:  Can employers choose which type of leave entitlements are used?

A client of ours with employees in France asked if they could determine which type of leave would be used first: annual leave or RTT days.  We explained that employers could not enforce which type of leave is used first and that it would be up to the employee.

Do you need more information about France?

Employers that are new to France may have other questions such as:

Can annual leave be carried over as well as RTT days?

Does sick or maternity leave affect calculation of the leave entitlement?

Can unused annual leave/RTT days be paid out on termination if unused?

Our clients bring us issues like this frequently as we assist them with navigating complex foreign laws around payroll, entitlements and compensation.  We make international employment simple.


 Need more information about employing in a new country? Learn more about:



Looking to hire an employee in France? Get in touch.


The information in this article is subject to changes in local legislation.

Related Articles

Are you managing a remote or global team?

Join 14,000+ managers receiving remote guides and international HR resources!