Saturday, August 8, 2009

English Teachers in France are "Independent"... Naturally.

The steps for Going Independent are a plenty. Just thinking about it can take a while. The good news is whatever your status, you can start thinking about it today, now, during your lunch break.


(Contrat à Durée Indéterminée: long-term contract)
Many schools may offer you a CDI...while many may not. Here are some CDI basics:
  • Congés payés (vacations) are covered by your employer
  • You receive tickets restaurants, comité d’entreprises, mutuelle, and other “perks”
  • You get sick leave and/or maternity leave
  • Your employer takes out Social Security
  • Your employer should offer professional training (DIF)
  • A three-month notice requirement for quitting
CDD (Contrat à Durée Déterminée or fixed-term contracts)
It appears to me that the majority of contracts for teachers in France are CDDs. Most go for 20 hours or 40 hours, then stop. Teachers often get used to juggling more than one CDD at a time (I knew one who juggled a whopping six!)
  • You are paid an hourly wage
  • Social charges are deducted from your pay slip by your employer
  • You may get compensation for transportation. No compensation for meals, equipment, etc.
  • Some sick leave
CDII Contract (intermittent unlimited term contract). I've also heard people call this a "vacataire" contract. I call it the "ramen noodles" contract. Basically, it offers the employer an alternative to illegally churning out countless CDD contracts. It offers no perks for the teacher.
  • The previous CDD info is the same, except you are guaranteed a handful of hours per year (e.g. 350)
  • A three-month notice is usually required if you want to terminate your contract
  • You are responsible for filling your own timetable
  • You are responsible for your own vacations
  • You are responsible for writing off business-related expenses (lunches, travel)
  • While sickness is covered, sick leave isn't. For additional insurance see: la loi Madelin
  • You're responsible for your retirement – See: CIPAV
  • Professional training is a “business expense”
  • No long-term commitment
  • Stealing clients is illegal and you can and will be sued under French law
In conclusion: Teachers in France in the continuing education sector are naturally "independent."

All teachers in the aforementioned categories are used to salary variations, looking for clients (or that next 20 to 40-hour gig), variations in demand, juggling different time tables and the joys of French administration.

Apple pies and tarte tintins. Roughly the same ingredients. Only one will turn your life upside down.