Termination of a fixed-term contract
By definition, a fixed-term employment contract has a planned or foreseeable end date. The fixed-term contract therefore ends automatically.
If the contract is suspended (for sick leave, maternity leave, etc.), the end date will not normally be postponed.
Any early termination of the contract, whether at the initiative of the employee or their employer, must be based on one of several statutorily defined reasons.
Cases in which early termination is permitted
Termination of a fixed-term contract before the date specified therein is subject to a legitimate reason and to compliance with the formalities specific to that reason.
Otherwise, early termination of the fixed-term contract entitles the injured party to pursue legal action for damages.
Termination of the trial period
Both the employer and the employee may decide to end the trial period without explaining their reasons for doing so.
The terminating party must notify the other party of its wish to terminate the contract during the trial period, so that the necessary arrangements can be made. Such notification must be made reasonably far in advance of the intended date of departure from the company, thus providing a period of notice. The notice period is 24 hours if the employee has been with the company less than eight days; otherwise, it is 48 hours.
Agreement between the employer and the employee
The employer and employee may agree to terminate the fixed-term contract at any time.
To officially confirm the end of the fixed-term contract, a document must be drawn up certifying that both parties have agreed to the early termination of the contract.
Employees may terminate a fixed-term contract if they can prove that they have been offered a permanent contract with another company.
If fixed-term employees can prove that they have been offered a permanent contract, they must inform their employer. If they want the notice requirement to be waived so that they can take up their position with their new employer as soon as possible, they must seek the agreement of their current employer.
If the employer agrees to waive the notice requirement, the employee may leave the company upon written agreement from the employer.
The fixed-term contract may also be terminated before its expiry date in the following circumstances:
- The employee is declared unfit for work by the occupational physician.
- Serious misconduct by the employer or employee.
- Force majeure (an exceptional, unforeseeable and insurmountable event that prevents the performance of the employment contract).
|Fixed-term contract termination||Notice|
|End of the trial period||No, but advance notification|
|Permanent employment (resignation during fixed-term contract)||Yes|
Source : Service-public
Job insecurity bonus
Employees are entitled to a job insecurity bonus unless they have committed gross misconduct, terminated the contract early, or refused an offer of permanent employment with the company.
The end-of-contract payment is equal to at least 10% of the total gross remuneration paid during the contract.
Specific circumstances may exist in some business sectors, and collective agreements may therefore make provision for different percentages.
The Ministry of Labor has developed a tool that enables fixed-term employees to calculate their end-of-contract payment (or “job insecurity bonus”)
All employees must receive holiday pay.
All fixed-term contracts of at least six months (130 days or 910 hours worked) entitle the employee to unemployment benefits, unless the contract is terminated early on grounds other than those permitted by law.
Impact on right of residence
All nationals of non-EU and non-EEA countries – with the exception of Switzerland and the United Kingdom – who wish to live and work in France for more than three months must have a residence permit.
In the event that a fixed-term contract comes to an end or is terminated early, the situation of the foreign employee concerned will depend on the type of residence permit they have.
Holders of a residence permit authorizing the exercise of any professional activity
The residency rights of persons whose residence permit authorizes them to engage in any professional activity will not be affected by the termination of their employment contract. This includes persons with a temporary or multi-year “private and family life” residence permit, a “family member of a European national” resident permit, a permanent residence permit, a “(family) talent passport”, etc.
Holders of a “Temporary Work” residence permit
If the employee is offered a permanent contract with another employer, he or she may apply for a change of status with the Prefecture.
Otherwise, when the residence permit expires, the employee must provide another reason to renew it. If the employee has found another job under a fixed-term contract, his or her new employer will submit the corresponding work permit application to the DIRECCTE or the DIECCTE.
If the temporary residence permit is renewed, it will be renewed for exactly the same length of time as the new employment contract, with no limitation on validity.