Syndicat national des Assistants Maternels et Salariés du Particulier Employeur

What is SynAM-SPE FO ?

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Created in 2001, the SynAM-SPE Force Ouvrière means to protect the interests of child minders and of the “salariés du particulier employeur” (domestic help employed by a private individual – we will use the terms “employees of a private employer”).

Negotiator and signatory of the Convention Collectives (collective agreements) of both sectors, the SynAM-SPE Force Ouvrière is committed to acting for, listening to and providing consistent information on the rights of employees (child minders and domestic workers) and to support its members in all their à la personnes

Role of childminder of a private employer

The childminder is a person who receives payment to take care of young minors in his/her home. It is generally a casual position.

The childminding profession is governed by the following conditions:

The Conseil Général issues licenses and it acts as a monitoring body. It ensures the application of rules set for public health, social work and families are followed. For this reason, it has the power to authorize a childminder to work or not.

The parents who entrust their child to a childminder become the “particuliers employeurs” (private employers).

The job of a childminder can be carried out in the private home of the childminder or in a Maison d’Assistantes Maternelles (M.A.M) (standardized places where several childminders can work).

It is essential that the employee and the employer exercise respect and confidence in all contexts.

There are some specific clauses from the Labor Code that do not apply to the work conditions of the childminder and their respective employers.

Employment contract

An employment contract must be drawn up and signed between the child minder and the parent employers. There must be a contract for each child being cared for.

It is very important to list in the contract all the specific and relevant conditions regarding the care of the child. The employment contract must make provision for :

All aspects of payment must be specified in the employment contract of the childminder, in particular :

Working hours

The standard hours of work are 45 hours per week.

Overtime hours are those worked over and above the weekly 45 hours.


All working hours are paid. The childminder is not paid at a daily rate ; the salary is calculated on the number of hours actually worked.

1 - The gross basic hourly rate cannot be less than ⅛ of the gross standard daily rate. That is ⅛ of 2.25 x the SMIC (minimum legal salary) gross hourly rate = 2,25 x 9,40 x 1/8 = 2.64 € for 2012.

In addition to the monthly salary:

2 - A maintenance allowance for ongoing expenses associated with childminding (items associated with sleeping, child and infant care, games and activities for children and a proportion of overhead costs such as water, heating, electricity).

The total maintenance allowance can not be less than 85% of the guaranteed minimum, that is:

3 - A meal allowance (breakfasts, meals, after-school snacks) must be a set and agreed amount. If the parents supply the meal, this allowance is not claimable.

Overtime hours: After the 46th hour of work in one week, a surcharge rate agreed upon by the two parties is applicable.

Breach of employment contract

1 - Breach of contract initiated by the employer : withdrawal of the child.

The employer has the right to withdraw the child from the childminder’s care. This withdrawal results in the termination of the contract.

If the employer decides to no longer place the child in the care of the childminder, on whatever reason, he/she must notify the childminder of his/her decision by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt. The date of the first delivery of the letter will be the first day of the notice.

2 - Breach of contract initiated by the employee : resignation

An employee who decides to cease looking after a child who has been in his/her care can break the contract. The employee informs the employer of his/her decision by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt. The date of the first delivery of the letter will be the first day of notice.

Notice : excluding the probation period, in case of breach initiated by the employer (on grounds other than gross misconduct) or initiated by the employee, a notice is to be issued. The minimum period of the notice is :

The period of the notice will not coincide with paid leave.

If the notice is not observed, the party responsible for not complying must compensate the other party an amount equal to what the employee would have received if he had worked.

Contract termination penalty : in case of breach of contract by removal of a child initiated by the employer, except in cases of serious misconduct, hey pays a severance payment to the employee if he has had at least one year of service with him.

This penalty will be equal to 1/120th of the total net salary received during the length of the contract.

3 - Breach of contract due to suspension or withdrawal of the license : in this case the employer is not responsible for the breach of contract.

The suspension or the withdrawal of the childminder’s license is forced on both the employer and the employee. The employer can no longer leave the child in the care of the childminder. The employer informs the employee by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt about the date of the suspension or the withdrawal of the license issued by the Conseil Général.

In this case the contract is terminated without notice or severance, simply because of the suspension or withdrawal of the license.

Documents to be submitted by the employer to the childminder at the completion of the contract :

Role of the household employee (also a domestic worker)

According to the Labor Code, the household employee is employed by the private employer to carry out domestic work.

A domestic worker is any person who works full time or part time and performs household chores related to the family or housework. The employer will not profit from the employee’s duties other than those duties the employee performs for the household.

It is understood that “family or household chores” are:

The work of the household employee is governed by the provisions under :

Employment contract

The employment contract is a written agreement between the employer and the employee.

It is drawn up in duplicate, either at the starting date of the employment or no later than the end of the probation period*.

*In this case, a certifying letter must be drawn up when the employee is hired and include the exact dates of the probation period.

Le Contrat de Travail à Durée Indéterminée (CDI) (unlimited term contract) must state the conditions of work (place of work, kind of employment, hours of work, number of hours, weekly days off, …) but also in particular, the method of payment (cheque, bank transfer), the basis on which social security contributions are assessed, on-site accommodation…

Le Contrat de Travail à Durée Déterminée (CDD) (fixed term contract) is subject to the specific rules of the Labour Code (articles L. 1241-1 and following of the Labor Code).

Le Chéque Emploi Service Universel (CESU) is a mean of payment used by the private employer to pay the employee. This method of payment includes social, legal and specific taxes.

The CESU is used only if the employee and the employer agree with this method of payment.

Working hours

The regular working hours for a full time employee are 40 hours per week and equivalent to 174 hours per month.

Overtime hours are those over 40 hours per week.

Les “heures de présence responsable” (“hours of responsible attendance”) are specific hours that the employee can use to perform his own tasks but must remain attentive and ready to intervene if necessary.


The gross hourly salary cannot be less than the minimum hourly salary set by the Convention collective or the current hourly SMIC rate.

Overtime hours : an increase must be applied to the actual working hours over 40 hours per week :

The heures de présence responsable (see above for explanation) are paid at the rate of ⅔ of the hourly rate of regular work.

Payment by CESU : payment is at least equal to the SMIC gross hourly minimum wage plus 10% entitlement for paid leave.

The payment of wages will be made on a fixed date at least once per month and no later than the last day of the month.

Breach of employment contract

1 - Resignation : the “contrat de travail à durée indéterminée” (CDI) (unlimited term contract) may be terminated by the employee. Resignation must be due to a clear, genuine and considered reason and must be clearly expressed in writing.

The length of notice to be done by the employee is set at :

In case of failure to observe the notice, the party responsible for not complying shall pay the other party compensation equivalent to the amount the employee would be paid for the remaining period of the notice.

2 - Dismissal of the employee : the employer can end the contract for a very serious reason. The employer, regardless of the reason for dismissal, must observe the following procedure :

The letter shall specify the purpose of the meeting : possible dismissal

The dismissal letter must state clearly the reason for the dismissal.

The dismissal letter can’t be sent within less than 24 hours after the dismissal meeting.

The date of the first delivery of the dismissal letter is the first day of notice.

The notice must be carried out under the conditions of the work contract.

The period of notice required in the event of dismissal for reasons other than gross misconduct is set at :

In case of failure to observe the notice, the party responsible for not complying shall pay the other party additional compensation equivalent to the amount the employee would be paid for the remaining period of the notice.

Redundancy payment : equal to ⅕ of the monthly salary per year of service plus ⅖ of the monthly salary for more than 10 years of service.

Redundancy on medical grounds : When the occupational medical officer declares the employee medically unfit, partially or totally, the employer may adjust the duties for the employee. If the employer is not able to adjust the duties of the employee, the employment contract must be terminated as dismissal within 1 month.

3 - Death of the employer : this ends the contract. The date of the death of the employer is the first day of notice.

Upon expiry of the employment contract, the employer must give the employee :

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