Nationality Refused for breaking Employment Rules - check your own situation

The National Headlines say Refusal was due to her working too many hours - but, as always - there is more to it than that.

At best, Ignorance of the Employment Regulations/Law, in a Multi-Employers situation, is no excuse.

Immigrants can’t win of course, either they’re lazy scroungers if they don’t work, or they’re taking “our” jobs if they do work.
But in this case she’s inviting the latter camp to argue that she has taken the job of not just one person, but two people.
Yet another case of droits et devoirs, if residents want to make sure of their entitlements they need to play strictly by the rules. If residents bend the rules on their side by not meeting their obligations, the bargain is void and the state no longer has the same obligations.
Shame, even so.

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I thought it was worth highlighting this Case - for the very reason that folk may not be aware of the restrictions.

If she had informed each Employer of her 2 other Employers… everything would have been put in place to ensure she remained Legal as an Employee (not breaching Working Hours).

For Folk wanting to work such long hours, Independent status is the only way. (I think…)

The French women I worked with when I was cleaning holiday villas all had at least one other job and some of them had two or three. All earning SMIC of course.

One also worked as a typist for a doctor as well as an aide à domicile (sorry, can’t remember the English for that!) and also helped on her mother’s farm. How she did all that I don’t know especially as she suffered from fibromyalgia.

Another also cleaned factories and worked in a hotel and another also cleaned car showrooms. I could list many many others.

One woman worked 7 days a week throughout the holiday season (easter till end of September) while her family looked after her young children because jobs were much harder to find in the winter.

And, of course, all these jobs were on a CDD so they had to wait and hope that they were re-employed the following season or when each contract came to an end.

It can be a really precarious life for those on SMIC and who have CDDs. It’s a way of life that so many live.

This is not a reflection on the character of the nurse in question, but a more general one on excessive hours in nursing

I have known many nurses who take on nursing work with three employers, these are often or usually agencies that specialise in supplying staff to fill gaps at short notice and in multiple locations.

The quality of the service of agency staff is generally of a lower standard than that of regular staff, not necessarily the fault of the agency stand-in, but because they are not familiar with the patients, their colleagues, the policies, the sophisticated techniques, procedures or policies of the environment, don’t know there way around the department or where to find things they need etc.

They are also tired and their performance is sometimes sub-optimal and not infrequently negligent of essential detail.
As a manager I have often found agency nurses on night duty who make it their first task to find a quiet corner to make up a bed for themselves where they can sleep through most of the shift so as to wake fresh to take on another shift somewhere else when they have breakfasted.

Most conscientious nurses will be very familiar with this scenario. “Whistle-blowers” get very short shrift from senior managers to whom this sort of behaviour is reported. And many such don’t want to know if a nurse has more than one job and works excessive hours. They just want to tick the boxes showing staff minimum numbers are covered.

There might be more to this story than meets the eye. And several reasons why some protesters want to keep it out of the headlines, it’s an open secret.

The above is just my personal experience of the health service in UK, and of the private and agency sector too. I have often worked overtime to cover for sick or absentee colleagues, including agency staff who didn’t turn up for work, and 24 hour shifts covering a whole day and night were by no means unusual, but always at the same workplace.

Peter - I know you have much UK experience.

This is France and the situations France/UK are very different.

Also, this is not an Agency Worker.

In France - the Rules are quite clear cut.

I’m not saying anything against the person involved.

It is important the folk do know the Restrictions - which is why I thought this worthwhile. Avoid anyone else finding themselves on the spot.

This person has the time to put the situation right - then re-apply. Seems fair enough to me.

Also, no “whistle-blowers” were involved.


“This is France and the situations France/UK are very different.” @Stella

With respect to your knowledge, I would beg to differ on this topic. The authorities who dealt with this claim may have had access to more information than you do.

For example, it is a duty on employers to inquire of a candidate seeking employment to know her current employment status, if any. That’s just plain common sense, Stella. But some employers cut procedural corners, as everybody knows, if they are short of staff and can get away with it.

One has only to open one’s local newspaper to see that the nursing situation in French hospitals and maisons de retraite differs very little from that in UK,
Stella. I admit that I don’t know about nursing agencies in France, but if French nurses can be employed by three different employers without any of them knowing about it, or professing not to know about it, something is going wrong. And where there is smoke there is fire, that holds true everywhere IMO.

Peter - this person is Employed directly by a Hospital. She is an Employee of that Hospital - with all the legal benefits and legal constraints that that entails.

She has also applied and gained 2 other Employments at 2 other Hospitals.

This is OK provided each Employer knows of the others and organises the hours worked etc do not exceed (whatever the Law says).

Probably through ignorance, the person did not inform any of the Employers about the others and thus none of the safeguards were put into action… this is why the problem has arisen.

The Link I posted lays it all out quite clearly. The person has to inform each and every Employer - if the person holds more than one Employment.

Independent workers are not so restricted since they do not fall into the category Employee…

This is why it is important to identifying oneself accurately when looking for work .

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Please can folk understand. I am not knocking the person in the Case or the Employers.

I wish to ensure that everyone who reads the Forum, looking for information on Multiple Employment- has the chance to see one of the pitfalls into which the unwary may fall.

Folk can check the Link - which will tell them the correct way to go about things. Yippee

It will be interesting to see how this person gets on.

I am hopeful that it will turn out OK in the end.

But, would any of us want to be in such an awful situation - I think not.

Let’s keep cool, let’s read the small print - let’s get it right, first time.

“Probably through ignorance…”???

I won’t argue the toss with you about this matter any further, Stella.

A hypothetical nurse is lucky to have been given a second chance to remedy her “ignorance”, and a public signal has gone out to others, both workers and employers, that “ignorance” is no excuse, and that public services will not be compromised by those who bend the rules to suit themselves. Hypothetically speaking.

Not that I am suggesting that this is what happened in this case, of course!

And knowing you don’t much like the controversial positions I sometimes take, I don’t want to spoil your enjoyment of a peaceful weekend :bouquet::bouquet::bouquet::four_leaf_clover::sunflower::ear_of_rice::hibiscus::grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Peter… I suspect that you would have argued (friendly fashion) whichever word I used

Probably… possibly… definitely… absolutely-not…


Happy Sunday :hot_face:

I too know of people doing multiple part time insecure jobs on SMIC. - and the equivalent in the UK with zero hours contracts on minimum wage. But surely these jobs paid a living wage? it seems sad that she needed to work 11 hours a day to make ends meet…

It certainly would be if there were no CAF available to top up low earnings nor chĂ´mage available at the end of a CDD.
But there is. So there shouldn’t be too much precarity amongst employees.
That was Hollande’s argument against the auto entrepreneur scheme wasn’t it - that encouraging people to set up small business just to try and scrape together a living, encouraged precarity because freelancers don’t get the same social protection as employees. He wanted to knock AE on the head. I took this up with my departmental councillor because I was so worried the AE scheme would be ended, and we had a robust exchange of emails about it, I was quite new to France at the time and to me with my still-anglo saxon mindset it seemed incredible that anyone should genuinely believe that having people claiming benefits was more desirable than encouraging them to do something to help themselves. She actually explained her views very well and gave me food for thought.

Anyway, I haven’t seen any mention of this person being fined, and I believe she is being allowed to apply again after only 2 years if she abides by the rules, so it sounds as if she’s been treated sympathetically in fact.


Does anyone know of a bilingual individual who would be willing to accompany me to l’assurance maladie and the tax people? Although I speak French I’m nervous of the technicalities and misunderstanding things and would value some support. I live in Tournus (71700) in Eastern France between Dijon and Lyon. Is there a fee for this or can I offer lunch and friendship?


If you fail to find someone - do not be downhearted. Gather all your paperwork together and give it a go.

Assurance Maladie and Tax Office are very helpful and will ask questions slowly and clearly. Around here, it is always by appointment. Thus the person concerned will know that Brits are coming and make allowances for language difficulties which might arise.

You speak French - so that is a plus. Stop them if they go too fast and/or if you are not sure you have understood. If you break into English for something you can’t find the words for - no need to panic. Sometimes the person will understand the odd word or two.

Whatever - just give it a go, deep breath, courage in both hands (plus your entire life in paper form) :relaxed::relaxed::relaxed:

I accompany Newbies in our Commune. All done for the fun of it - and some of the complex situations are very interesting to work our way through. Sorry, you are much too far away for me… :wink::relaxed::relaxed:

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I have to say, when I saw this headline, I found it to be laughable, (but not really). As a foreigner who is hoping to be naturalised, one should definitely be careful with the laws of the land. Hubby and I have always been very careful about doing everything correctly, for fear of ever having to return to the States. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Restrictive employment laws shames France.
Entrepreneur maybe a French word, but they have still to get the true meaning.

While France probably thinks that lack of employee protection shames the UK - zero hours contracts, working excessive hours etc. Perhaps the two countries should be boiled up together to come up with a fair compromise.
The UK has somehow glamorized the image of the hardworking entrepreneur who works all the hours god sends to try and get rich. In reality, there isn’t a lot of glamour in that life, it’s not a role model with much to recommend it. A civilised society should try to ensure people get a healthy work-life balance. And no, I am under no illusion that France has got it right, but I do see two sides to the coin. Ditching all the restrictive employment laws isn’t the answer
Of course after Brexit, what employee protection there is in the UK, will probably be ditched.


Stella and Peter,

I see your arguments about how this case should have been dealt with differently in the U.K…

Well, on a strictly legal point, if you are not satisfied with the Préfet’s decision (I wouldn’t be if I were her), then she should simply fight such a refusal in front of the local Tribunal Administratif.

You’d be amazed to know that, often, Prefecture’s decisions (especially those relevant to foreigners) are based upon criterias and rules which are simply not legal (like quotas or others political issues) and upon undisclosed reasons than those on the Préfet’s findings !

It would just take the citizen (you don’t need any legal representation in front of this court…but this is highly recommended, as it is a very technical area of our Law) to ask the court to say that the Prefet’s decision is against the Law, but since most citizens don’t take their chance, such decision remains in force…

VoilĂ , welcome to France, the country that loves courts of justice and litigation cases.

Once again, as I am not a specialist in this area of our Law, but I can recommend names of bilingual colleagues of mine.

Philippe Péjoine (reads “page 1”)
16 bis cours du Maréchal Juin
33000 Bordeaux
T: 0674284766