Print Posted By Lost in France on 21 Sep 2006 in Living in France - Business and employment in France

Conclusion of employment contracts

The employment contract must be in writing and may be:
permanent (CDI)
fixed-term (CDD)

Permanent Contracts (CDI)

This type of contract is concluded for a non-specific period, in other words no set period has been specified by the two parties. However, it may be ended by one or other party provided that the provisions set down in the Labour Code are respected.
Permanent employment contracts must be in writing. If the employee is foreign, the contract may be translated into his/her mother tongue on request.

Fixed-term contracts (CDD)

This type of contract may be used only for carrying out a specific, temporary task under strictly regulated conditions, for instance:
to replace an absent employee (e.g. maternity leave)
in the event of a temporary increase in the company's activity
for seasonal jobs.
The maximum period of a fixed-term contract (including its renewal) is eighteen months. It is increased to twenty-four months when the contract is performed abroad. Such contracts can be renewed only for the same period as the initial contract.
A fixed-term contract must be in writing and must include the precise reason for the job (e.g. maternity leave), otherwise the contract is regarded as being permanent.

A fixed-term contract can be terminated only in the following cases:
force majeure
by agreement between the parties or
because of a serious offence.
The bonus for the precarious nature of the contract (or end-of-contract allowance) is 10% of the total gross salary (Law of 3 January 2003), with exceptions in some sectors (collective agreements facilitating access to vocational training), where it can be limited to 6%.
The compensation for paid leave is added to this bonus: 10% of the amount of the total gross salary and bonus.

Temporary Contracts

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The conditions for using this type of contract are identical to those governing fixed-term jobs. However, in this case there are three parties to the contract:
The temporary employee
The temporary employment agency, which is his/her employer
The user undertaking, in which the temporary employee works.
An employer can have recourse to employees of temporary employment agencies only for the performance of a short-term task known as a 'mission'.
There is no law to prevent a temporary employee from leaving the temporary employment agency to be recruited on the basis of a permanent contract in the undertaking where he/she is carrying out his/her mission.

Part-time contract

This contract provides status that is comparable to that of full-time employees.
In the private sector, 'part-time employment' is all employment that is less than 80% of the legal or contractual working hours. No minimum working hours are in place. However, in practice, a certain number of hours is needed to benefit from social security coverage (60 hours per month).
In the public sector, part-time employment must be between 50% (half-time) and 80% of full-time employment.
Part-time employment contracts must be in writing.

Intermittent Employment

Intermittent employment concerns mainly seasonal jobs. The contract is continuous for permanent jobs that may, however, involve rest periods because of the seasonal nature of the work.
These contracts must be in writing.

Source: European Union
© European Communities, 1995-2006


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