Whether they are public servants or agents under a public law contract , working another job is prohibited for all public officials. A public official may devote his professional activity only to the tasks and missions entrusted to him and only within the framework of his functions.
However, it is possible to combine public employment with other activities, but this principle is closely supervised and monitored.
Civil servants must be fully devoted to their public service missions. Such is the rule.
Combining jobs concerns civil servants, agents under public law contract and some public agents under private law contract, working full-time or part-time.
What is considered an accumulation of activities in the administration?
The accumulation of activities lies in the fact that public servants combine several jobs, and thus engage in performing several activities.
According to article L.121-4 of the general civil service code, this principle is illegal: “A civil servant exercises his entire professional activity in the tasks entrusted to him.”
“The public official cannot exercise, as a profession , a lucrative private activity of any kind whatsoever (…)“, specifies article L.123-1 of the same code.
The ban on combining several activities for public officials was already mentioned in the 1983 law, a law relaying the rights and obligations of civil servants.
To summarize, these articles and texts of law significantly increase the possibilities for civil servants to combine a public job and a lucrative private activity. The public official is also forced not to be self-employed beyond a period of two years.
Civil servants must therefore devote all their professional activity to the public tasks assigned to them.
Since April 2016, public officials have been prohibited from combining several full-time jobs and from starting or taking over a business, except under certain circumstances.
Failure to comply with those provisions will lead to : Paying back the sums earned from prohibited activities by deduction from salary or wages, or even in certain cases, termination of the employee at fault.
Under which circumstances a public servant can combine jobs ?
In order for a public official to combine his job with another activity, he must first ask his hierarchical superiors and obtain an authorization.
Indeed, the public official who works part time ( less or equal than 70% of a full time position in regards of the legal work week) has the right to work another job in the private sector . To do so, the civil servant must ask his employer the permission (his superiors could decline the request if they judge that the job is inconsistant and conflicting with his public service job).
As far as starting or taking over of a business, a full-time public official cannot ask for it. The civil servant eligible can make a request to his hierarchy only if plans to work on a part-time basis.
Another condition: the public official must carry out this other activity , managing his business for a maximum period of four years
The intervention of the private investigator to proove combining jobs
The role of the private detective is to inform, advise, assist and investigate in order to defend the interests of third parties. Local authorities can sollicitate the services of a private investigators firm.
The investigator will intervene depending on the legal basis of the request. The claimant must have suffered financial, physical or moral prejudice defined by law and therefore punishable.
The private detective will always comply to confidentiality rules and a specific code of ethics.
His prerogatives are based on Article L621-1 of the Internal Security Code which stipulates that the private detective collects information and evidences to the benefit of third parties, to protect and defend their interests.
In a case of investigation concerning a public official cumulating several professional activities, a municipality can call on the services of a private detective.
The private investigator will deal with the expectations of his client very cautiously by collecting the evidences gathered by means of surveillance and tailing. The findings will be compiled and a detailed investigation report will be issued (with photographs and videos).
By carrying out his investigation, neither the applicant nor the private investigator will violate the right to privacy of the employee . Indeed, in a judgment dated October 20, 2011, the Administrative Court of Appeal in Versailles has considers that mandating a private detective to investigate on a case of cumulating jobs , does not violate the right to private life of a civil servant agent if the investigations are carried out in public.
SOURCE: Administrative Court of Appeal of Versailles, 6th chamber, 20/10/2011, 10VE01892.
The termination of a public servant may be engaged in the event of cumulating activities, provided that it is not disproportionate. According to a judgment dated November 19, 2015 from the Administrative Court of Cergy-Pontoise, a registred nurse working for a Public Hospital combined her activity with a lucrative private activity as a temporary nurse with the Institut Q. from January 2006 to 2011. She accumulated between 230 hours and 1,100 hours a year. The defendant acknowledged the facts. Given the extent and the lenght of this other job for which she was responding for , her termination was not considered disproportionate to the fault committed by the nurse.
SOURCE: Administrative Court of Cergy-Pontoise, November 19, 2015, n° 1401567 and 1403337.
It is interesting to note that the burden of proof in a case of cumulating jobs or activities , and the report compiled by the private detective prooving the accumulation of activities is not considered by the administrative judge as an unfair means of proof . It is therefore receivable as evidence.
SOURCE: Council of State, July 16, 2014, n°355201.