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A recent change in French Law will modify the individual training entitlement (DIF) of employees as from January 2015…

What currently exists?

Currently, each employee with more than one year’s service (or four months for short term contracts), acquires an entitlement to a capital of training hours equal to at least 20 hours per year (prorated for part time employees), which can be cumulated over a period of 6 years within a maximum limit of 120 hours. It is called DIF (Individual entitlement to training).

Employees can at any time ask their employer to use their accumulated entitlement to follow a training program of their choice.

Within certain limits these DIF training programs can be financed by the training collector agency into which the employer pays the annual training tax.

What will replace the DIF?

Following a recent change in Law, the Individual training entitlement will be replaced by the Personal Training Account as from January 1st 2015.

The balance of DIF hours will be transferred into this Personal Account and will be usable for a period of 5 years.

What are the major changes?

The training rights will no longer be attached to the status of employment but to the individual himself/herself:
This account will open as from the age of 16 years old if the individual is no longer at school and he/she is registered with the Unemployment agency as job-seeker. It can open at 15 years old if the individual signs an apprenticeship contract.

The entitlement to training hours will remain with the individual throughout his/her career and will be usable whatever the status of employment:
This account will allow the employee to keep the training hours acquired during his/her period of employment after termination or resignation, without time limit and to use them with another employer or during a period of unemployment.

The number of training hours will be increased:
The acquisition will also differ. The individual will acquire 24 hours per year worked full-time, up to 120 hours and then, he/she will acquire 12 hours per year worked full-time up to a maximum limit of 150 hours (prorated for part-time workers).

How the employee will use the training hours?
The use of the Personal Account is comparable to the use of the DIF hours.

If the employee requests to use acquired training hours partially or fully during working hours, he/she will need the company’s agreement.

If the employee requests to use acquired training hours outside of his/her working time, contrary to the DIF, he/she will no longer have to require the employer’s agreement.

The cost of the training hours acquired under the Personal Account can be financed, within certain limits, by the training collector agency into which the employer pays the annual training tax.

In addition, this recent Law added obligations in terms of career development:
Every two years, the employer will have to organize a professional interview with the employee in order to examine the opportunities of professional development.

Every six years, this professional interview will also have the aim to make a status of the employee’s career development and to control if the employee has benefited from training actions, acquired certifications, benefited from a validation of work experience, of professional development opportunities and salary increase.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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