Employment Contracts in France

1. Minimum Requirements

Employment contracts are generally not required to be written, but certain forms of employment contract should be in writing (notably fixed-term contracts, part-time contracts and temporary employment contracts).

Fixed-term contracts should contain the same information as indefinite-term contracts and, in addition, fixed-term contracts should specify:

  • The reason why the company is using a fixed-term contract;
  • The date on which the contract is to end, or its minimum duration if an exact termination date has not been fixed; and
  • The name and job description of the absent employee, if the reason for using a fixed-term contract is to replace a temporarily absent employee.

In addition to the general requirements for employment contracts listed above, part-time contracts should state the following:

  • That the contract is for part-time work;
  • The employee’s working hours;
  • Any conditions relating to possible changes in working hours; and
  • The amount of overtime permitted according to statute or the relevant CBA.

2. Fixed-term/Open-ended Contracts

This kind of employment contract is very specific, notably as neither party may terminate it prior to its end, except in the event of an amicable separation, serious misconduct, force majeure or if the employee finds alternative employment under an indefinite-term contract.

In contrast with indefinite-term contracts, the conclusion of a fixed-term contract is subject to conditions of content and form. However, employees working under fixed-term contracts have the same individual statutory rights as those working under indefinite-term contracts.

3. Trial Period

The probationary period is governed by statute. The legislature has introduced a maximum length for the probationary period and a minimum notice period, which varies according to the categories of employees concerned.

4. Notice Period

Except for specific exceptions (e.g. dismissals for serious or gross misconduct), the parties should observe and cannot waive the required notice periods before an indefinite-term contract is terminated.

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in France, please contact Joël Grangé, Partner at Flichy Grangé Avocats ( at
This entry was posted in Employment Contracts on and modified on .