In France, employees under a non-compete undertaking must be compensated during the non-compete period.
International companies with employees in France must be aware that non-compete agreements must provide for a financial consideration which is paid after termination of the employment contract during the non-compete period, failing which said agreements are null and void and the employees free to work for competitors.
Non-compete agreements usually provide that the employer can waive the non-compete obligation within a certain number of days following termination, and therefore avoid paying the financial consideration.
In the event the company becomes aware that the employee is breaching his non-compete agreement, it should still pay the financial consideration until it has strong written evidence of the breach. If the employee stops receiving his financial consideration, she/he could argue that the company is breaching the agreement and that, therefore, it is no longer binding.
International headquarters should therefore make sure that local management either waives the non-compete agreement within the prescribed time period or start paying the financial consideration as soon as it is due.