Termination of a fixed-term contract

Date of update



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.


Template for the termination of a fixed-term employment contract by mutual agreement


Click here

Permanent employment


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.




Other reasons


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
Mutual agreement No
Permanent employment (resignation during fixed-term contract) Yes
Unfit No
Serious misconduct No
Force majeure No

Source : Service-public

End-of-contract payments

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”)

Click here to start the calculation 

Holiday pay


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.


Calculate the amount of unemployment benefits you are entitled to on the Pôle Emploi website:


Click here

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.