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French Polynesia

Discover everything you need to know about French Polynesia

Hire in French Polynesia at a glance

Here ares some key facts regarding hiring in French Polynesia

Cfp Franc
GDP growth
GDP world share
Payroll frequency
Working hours
35 hours/week

Overview in French Polynesia

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French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the South Pacific, consists of over 100 islands across five archipelagos, with Tahiti being the administrative and economic center. The islands, known for their volcanic mountains and coral atolls, have a warm climate and are popular for tourism, especially in luxury resorts like Bora Bora. The original Polynesian inhabitants arrived around 1000 AD, with European contact beginning in the 18th century. France established control gradually, with French Polynesia gaining autonomy as an overseas collectivity in the late 20th century.

The population is mainly Polynesian, with significant French and Chinese communities. The economy relies heavily on tourism, black pearl cultivation, and fishing, supported by financial and administrative aid from France. Challenges include a high cost of living due to its remoteness and import dependency. The workforce is service-oriented due to the tourism sector, with education following the French system and a need for fluency in French and Polynesian languages.

Employment is concentrated in tourism, public sector, pearl farming, and fishing, with geographic economic disparities and sensitivity to global travel fluctuations. Cultural norms blend Polynesian hospitality with French formality, impacting communication and workplace hierarchies. Future focuses include reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels and developing sustainable ocean-based industries.

Taxes in French Polynesia

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In French Polynesia, employers have tax responsibilities including contributions to the Caisse de Prévoyance Sociale (CPS) for social security, covering healthcare, pensions, workplace injuries, and family benefits. Additional employer obligations include unemployment contributions and payroll taxes. Employees also contribute to CPS for similar benefits and have options for trade union dues deductions. Both parties must adhere to specific rates and reporting requirements, with guidance available from CPS or tax professionals.

French Polynesia uses a Taxes on Goods and Services system, including the Taxe Générale sur les Services (TGS) and the Taxe de Gestion et de Promotion du Service (TGPS), applicable to services provided within the region. Businesses must register and report for TGS/TGPS, with specific rules determining service provision location and tax applicability.

Tax incentives are available for new businesses, renewable energy companies, and large-scale investments, particularly in the tourism sector, offering exemptions on import duties, various fees, property, and corporate taxes. The region also benefits from no income, wealth, or inheritance taxes for individuals. Businesses should consult local authorities or tax advisors to ensure compliance and understand eligibility for tax benefits.

Leave in French Polynesia

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In French Polynesia, the Labor Code ensures that full-time employees accrue 2.5 working days of paid vacation per month, totaling 30 days or 5 weeks annually. Employers cannot mandate taking leave before it's accrued, and vacation scheduling requires mutual agreement, adhering to specified notice periods. Employees receive their regular salary during these leave periods.

Unused vacation leave generally should be utilized within the leave year, though it can be carried forward or paid out under certain conditions. The region also celebrates various public holidays, including local and national observances such as New Year's Day, Gospel Day, and Bastille Day.

Additional provisions in the Labor Code cover other types of leave, including paid sick leave with a medical certificate, maternity and paternity leave, and unpaid parental leave. Bereavement and sabbatical leave are also available, with specific terms outlined in the Labor Code.

Benefits in French Polynesia

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French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France, adheres to French labor laws with local adaptations, providing a robust set of employee benefits managed primarily through the Caisse de Prévoyance Sociale (CPS). This includes healthcare, maternity and paternity leave, family allowances, unemployment, and disability benefits. The region enforces a minimum wage and mandates paid annual leave along with public holidays.

Additional mandatory benefits include notice periods for termination and adherence to health and safety regulations. Optional benefits often offered by employers include supplementary health insurance, wellness programs, financial security through private retirement contributions and profit-sharing, and work-life balance perks like flexible work arrangements and additional annual leave.

The CPS is crucial for health coverage, covering a wide range of medical services and requiring contributions from both employers and employees. For retirement, the Caisse de Retraite de la Polynésie Française (CRPF) provides a public pension plan, supplemented by optional private retirement savings plans and individual retirement accounts, offering a comprehensive financial safety net for employees in French Polynesia.

Workers Rights in French Polynesia

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In French Polynesia, the Labor Code requires employers to have a valid and serious reason for terminating an employee, categorized into personal or economic grounds. Personal grounds include performance issues or misconduct, while economic grounds relate to financial difficulties or technological changes necessitating job cuts. The notice period for termination varies based on the employee's tenure, ranging from 24 hours to two months, and can be extended by agreements. Severance pay is mandatory unless the termination is due to serious misconduct, calculated based on the employee's salary and length of service.

Employers must adhere to strict procedural steps during termination, including providing a written reason and allowing the employee to defend themselves. Some economic dismissals may need prior administrative approval. French Polynesia's labor laws, aligned with French law, offer strong protections against discrimination, covering a wide range of characteristics from origin to political opinions. Victims of discrimination have several redress mechanisms, including the Defender of Rights and Labor Tribunals.

Employers are also tasked with preventing discrimination through policies, training, and internal complaint mechanisms. French Polynesia follows French and EU labor standards, including a 35-hour workweek, minimum rest periods, and ergonomic requirements to ensure workplace safety. Employers are responsible for risk assessments, providing PPE, and ensuring a safe work environment, with enforcement by regional labor departments and health services.

Agreements in French Polynesia

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In French Polynesia, employment law recognizes various types of employment contracts, each with specific characteristics and regulations:

  • Open-ended Contract (CDI): This is a permanent, full-time contract without a predetermined end date, offering significant job security.
  • Fixed-term Contract (CDD): Used for temporary needs such as seasonal work or project-based roles, these contracts have a specific end date and cannot exceed 36 months, including renewals.
  • Partial Time Contract: Allows employees to work fewer hours than a full-time position, with benefits adjusted pro-rata.
  • Other Employment Agreements: Includes specialized contracts like Apprenticeship, Intermittent Work, and Temporary Work Agency contracts.

The French Polynesian Labour Code mandates certain clauses in all employment contracts, such as identification of parties, contract type, job description, work location, working hours, compensation, and termination details. Additional recommended clauses include probationary periods, confidentiality, non-solicitation, intellectual property ownership, disciplinary procedures, and dispute resolution mechanisms.

Probationary Periods are particularly notable, allowing both employer and employee to assess suitability with simplified termination options during this time. The duration varies by job role, and specific rules govern termination and potential extension of this period.

Confidentiality and Non-Compete Clauses are also significant, aiming to protect company secrets and prevent competition post-employment, though they are subject to legal restrictions to ensure fairness.

Remote Work in French Polynesia

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French Polynesia, a French collectivity, offers a picturesque setting for remote work but faces challenges in legal regulations, technological infrastructure, and employer responsibilities.

Legal Regulations: The French Labor Code, which applies in French Polynesia, does not specifically address remote work, creating a grey area and potential risks for both employers and employees. Recent legislation in metropolitan France may influence future local regulations, but currently, the legal framework remains uncertain.

Technological Infrastructure: Internet connectivity in French Polynesia, especially on remote islands, is often unreliable and slow, posing significant barriers to effective remote work. Urban areas may provide better connectivity, but overall limitations could affect remote work viability.

Employer Responsibilities: Employers considering remote work in French Polynesia must weigh potential benefits, such as access to a global talent pool and reduced overhead costs, against risks like communication challenges and compliance issues with evolving legal standards. Employers are advised to consult with legal experts in French labor law to navigate these complexities.

Flexible Work Options: The French Labor Code allows for some flexibility through individual employment contracts, although it does not mandate specific regulations for flexible work arrangements like flexitime or job sharing. Employers should develop clear policies on equipment provision and expense reimbursements, considering the technological challenges of the region.

Data Protection and Privacy: Employers must also consider data protection standards, particularly if the GDPR applies, ensuring compliance with its strict requirements for data security and employee privacy rights.

In summary, while French Polynesia offers a unique opportunity for remote work, significant legal and technological considerations must be addressed to ensure successful and compliant implementation of such arrangements.

Working Hours in French Polynesia

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  • Standard Work Hours and Overtime in French Polynesia:

    • The standard workweek is set at 39 hours, spread from Monday to Saturday, equating to about 169 hours per month.
    • Employees cannot be required to work more than 48 hours per week or 10 hours per day.
    • Overtime pay is mandatory for hours worked beyond the standard 39-hour workweek, with a 25% wage increase for hours 40 to 47, and a 50% increase for hours beyond 48.
  • Rest Days and Breaks:

    • Employers must provide one rest day per week, usually Sunday, with a mandatory 15% wage premium for Sunday work if consented by the employee.
    • Employees are entitled to a daily rest break of at least 20 minutes after 6 consecutive hours of work, which is not included in the working hours.
  • Night and Weekend Work:

    • Night work, typically between 9 pm and 6 am, should ideally be voluntary and may include a wage premium as negotiated in collective agreements.
    • Specific sectors may have different regulations for weekend work, particularly in industries like tourism or hospitality.
  • Collective Bargaining Agreements:

    • These agreements can supersede or supplement general legal provisions, potentially establishing different norms for working hours, breaks, and overtime compensation.
  • Meal Breaks and Work-Life Balance:

    • While there is no mandated duration for meal breaks, schedules should allow reasonable breaks, with specifics potentially outlined in industry-specific agreements.
    • These regulations aim to promote employee well-being and a balanced work-life environment.

Salary in French Polynesia

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  • Local Market Rates: It's essential to use salary data specific to French Polynesia due to its unique labor market, which includes both local and international businesses.

  • Experience and Qualifications: Higher experience and specialized skills generally lead to higher salaries compared to those with limited experience or general skills.

  • Cost of Living: The high cost of living in French Polynesia necessitates higher salaries to attract and retain talent.

  • Industry and Sector: Salary levels can vary significantly across different industries and sectors, with some like finance or tourism potentially offering higher wages.

  • Negotiating Power: Employees with in-demand skills or strong negotiation skills may secure higher than average salaries.

  • SMIG Rate: The Guaranteed Minimum Interprofessional Wage (SMIG) in French Polynesia is XPF 904.82 per hour, translating to about XPF 152,914 monthly for a full-time employee.

  • Employer Social Security Contributions: Employers pay additional social security contributions, increasing total labor costs by about 30%.

  • Additional Benefits: Common benefits include the thirteenth month pay, transportation and meal allowances, housing allowances, family benefits, performance-based bonuses, and profit-sharing schemes.

  • Payroll Cycle: The payroll process involves managing time records, benefits, deductions, and pay distribution, with payment frequency and schedules varying by company policy. Payslips are essential for record-keeping, and additional payroll considerations include managing off-cycle payments and payment methods.

Termination in French Polynesia

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French Polynesian labor law outlines specific notice periods for employment termination based on employee category and seniority, ranging from 1 month for workers with less than five years of service to 3 months for managers. Notice periods can be extended by employment contracts, and immediate termination is allowed under severe misconduct with proper documentation.

Severance pay is mandated for employees with at least one year of service, calculated based on their average monthly gross salary over the last 12 months, with different rates for those who have served up to 10 years and those beyond. Exceptions to severance pay include dismissal for gross misconduct or voluntary resignation.

The law also details procedures for different types of dismissals, including personal reasons and economic reasons, each requiring specific steps and justifications. Resignation and agreed termination are other forms of employment cessation. Discriminatory dismissals are prohibited, and special protections are in place for certain employee categories.

Freelancing in French Polynesia

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In French Polynesia, the classification between employees and independent contractors hinges on the principle of "subordination." Employees operate under an employer's authority, fulfilling tasks for remuneration and adhering to the employer's control over work aspects like hours and methods. They benefit from legal protections such as minimum wage, paid leave, and social security contributions.

Independent contractors, on the other hand, manage their work autonomously, deciding their work conditions and managing their taxes and social security. Contract structures for independent contractors include service provision, mission contracts, and CAE for intellectual services, each with specific requirements and benefits.

Negotiation practices in French Polynesia emphasize collaboration and understanding, with a focus on clear communication and mutual trust. Key industries for independent contracting include tourism, IT, creative sectors, and construction.

Intellectual property rights are protected under French law, which covers copyrights, trademarks, and patents, ensuring freelancers can secure their creations and innovations. Contracts should clearly define IP ownership, and registering IP provides stronger legal proof and protection.

Freelancers must also navigate specific tax and social security obligations, contributing to schemes that cover retirement, healthcare, and other benefits. Additional insurances like professional liability, health, and retirement insurance are recommended to safeguard against potential risks and ensure financial stability.

Health & Safety in French Polynesia

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French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France, adheres to both French metropolitan law and local Polynesian regulations concerning health and safety, primarily governed by the French Labor Code and supplemented by the Polynesian Labor Code. The Labor Inspectorate enforces these regulations, focusing on employer responsibilities such as ensuring worker safety, conducting risk assessments, and providing necessary training and personal protective equipment.

Employers must establish an Occupational Health and Safety Committee if they have at least 50 employees, facilitating collaboration on safety issues. Specific obligations include comprehensive risk assessments, mandatory medical surveillance for certain workers, and immediate reporting of serious accidents. Workplaces must also maintain adequate first aid and emergency response plans.

The regulatory framework mandates that all hazardous chemicals are inventoried, safety data sheets are accessible, and machinery is safeguarded. Fire safety measures, including fire prevention plans and accessible extinguishers, are crucial. Inspections by the Labor Inspectorate are systematic and may result in sanctions if non-compliance is found. Employers are required to rectify identified hazards promptly, and workers are encouraged to report safety concerns.

In case of workplace accidents, employers must conduct an initial investigation and report the incident within 48 hours. The Labor Inspectorate may conduct further investigations, especially in severe cases. Workers injured on the job are entitled to compensation covering medical expenses and, depending on the injury's severity, may receive temporary or permanent disability benefits. In fatal incidents, dependents may receive death benefits.

Dispute Resolution in French Polynesia

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Labor courts in French Polynesia, known as Conseil de prud'hommes, handle disputes between employers and employees, including issues like employment contracts, wage disputes, and discrimination. These courts start with conciliation and, if unresolved, move to formal judgment. Arbitration is an alternative, often stipulated in employment contracts, where arbitrators make binding decisions.

Compliance Audits and Inspections

French Polynesia conducts various compliance audits to ensure adherence to labor laws, tax regulations, and environmental standards. These include labor law audits based on the French Labor Code, tax audits, environmental audits to protect local ecosystems, and industry-specific audits. The frequency and consequences of these audits vary, emphasizing the importance of compliance to maintain public trust and economic stability.

Reporting and Whistleblower Protections

Individuals can report violations to the Labor Inspectorate, Tax Administration, or specific environmental agencies. While French Polynesia lacks comprehensive whistleblower protection laws, there are provisions under labor law and other regulations that offer some protection against retaliation.

International Labor Standards

French Polynesia adheres to international labor standards through France's ratification of ILO conventions, which cover issues like forced labor, collective bargaining, discrimination, and child labor. The local labor code reflects these standards, with ongoing monitoring and enforcement by the Labor Inspectorate and the ILO's Committee of Experts.

Overall, French Polynesia's legal framework for labor relations, compliance audits, and adherence to international standards demonstrates a structured approach to maintaining fair labor practices and regulatory compliance.

Cultural Considerations in French Polynesia

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French Polynesia exhibits a unique communication style influenced by both French and Polynesian cultures, characterized by indirect communication, a respectful hierarchical structure, and significant non-verbal cues. Key aspects include:

  • Indirect Communication: Emphasizes maintaining harmony and often involves suggestions rather than direct criticism, reflecting the cultural value of "fa'a'aro" (understanding).
  • Respectful Hierarchy: Combines French respect for formal titles and a Polynesian emphasis on communal relationships, leading to a balance of formality and informality in workplace interactions.
  • Non-verbal Cues: Includes eye contact, body language, and the use of silence, all of which are integral to conveying respect and attentiveness.

Effective communication strategies in this setting involve patience with indirectness, respecting hierarchical norms, being mindful of body language, and valuing personal relationships.

Additionally, negotiation practices in French Polynesia blend relationship-building with a results-oriented approach due to the dual influence of French and Polynesian cultures. Negotiators often employ indirect communication and focus on long-term partnerships rather than immediate gains.

The hierarchical business structure in French Polynesia combines French bureaucratic elements with Polynesian communal decision-making, impacting decision-making processes, team dynamics, and leadership styles. Leaders are expected to direct while also fostering a supportive environment, reflecting values of "aroha" (compassion) and "mana" (prestige).

French Polynesia also observes both French national holidays and unique regional observances, affecting business operations, especially in terms of closures and work schedules during these periods.

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