In , as in other countries, the employment of temporary workers has increased dramatically, particularly in certain sectors (information technology, engineering and freight transport). There are a number of reasons for this: companies need to respond quickly to changes in production and in order to meet cyclical or atypical increases in activity. In addition, there is a mismatch between the skills employers are looking for and the availability in the labour market of workers with these qualifications.

There are various types of contracts allowing temporary work (travailleur temporaire). These may be monthly or daily and they can be renewed for up to 12 months. However, the contract cannot have either the purpose or effect of providing long-term employment related to the normal and permanent activities of the company. It must be used for the execution of a precise, temporary task (assignment) and in specific cases stipulated by law.

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In terms of duration, the minimum contract length is 24 hours a week (which can be reduced by agreement and there is also a provision for a working day split into two halves). The worker is also entitled to an end-of-contract indemnity called prime de précarite. It is equal to at least 10% of the gross remuneration and it is paid only if the fixed-term contract does not lead to the conclusion of a permanent contract.

Foreign workers who wish to take up work in France on a temporary basis are required to obtain a visa. It is possible to obtain this for a period of up to one year by submitting an online application via the website of the Agence nationale des etrangers en France. In some cases, a visa can be extended or renewed by completing the relevant declaration form and paying the corresponding fees.

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