CDD reglementés: Oui

Motifs autorisés de recours au CDD: raisons matérielles et objectives

Remarks

See art. L 1242-1 LC to L. 1242-4 LC.
Art L 1242-2 LC to L 1242-4 LC: exhaustive list of situations when the use of FTC is authorized.

Nombre maximum de CDD successifs: 2

Remarks

Art. L 1243-13 LC

Durée cumulée maximum de CDD successifs: 18mois

Remarks

Art. L 1242-8 LC.
General rule: 18 months maximum.
Depending on the grounds for resorting to a FTC, it can be up to 24 months in 3 specific situations, e.g. when an exceptionally important order for products to be exported is received.

% de travailleurs sous CDD: 15.2

Remarks

Source: Eurostat, annual average for 2012.
The figure refers to the percentage of employee with a contract of limited duration (= temporary job) of total number of employees.
Eurostat data are based on the following definition:
"A job may be considered temporary if employer and employee agree that its end is determined by objective conditions such as a specific date, the completion of a task or the return of another employee who has been temporarily replaced (usually stated in a work contract of limited duration). Typical cases are: (a) persons with seasonal employment; (b) persons engaged by an agency or employment exchange and hired to a third party to perform a specific task (unless there is a written work contract of unlimited duration); (c) persons with specific training contracts."

Durée maximale de la période d'essai (en mois): 8 mois

Remarks

Art. L 1221-19 LC & L. 1221-21 LC: max. 4 months for managers (shorter periods apply for other categories of workers) renewable once.

Obligation d'informer le travailleur des raisons du licenciement: Oui

Remarks

The employer must communicate the motives of the contemplated decision and listen to the explanations provided by the worker during a prior oral interview: art L1232-3 LC.
In addition, the reasons behind the dismissal must be exposed in the letter of notification of the dismissal: art. L1232-6 LC

Motifs autorisés (licenciement justifié): tout motif légitime

Remarks

Individual dismissal: must be justified by a serious and genuine cause ("cause réelle et sérieuse"): art. L 1232-1 LC
Dismissal for economic reasons: must also be justified by a serious and genuine cause: art. L 1233-2 LC. The Labour Code prescribes what can be recognized as an economic ground for dismissal : art. L 1233-3 LC.

Motifs prohibés: état matrimonial, grossesse, congé de matérnité, maladie ou accident professionel temporaire, race, couleur, sexe, orientation sexuelle, religion, opinion politique, origine sociale, nationalité/origine nationale, âge, affiliation et activités syndicales, handicap, participation à une grève légale, dénonciation/ alerte, identité de genre, état de santé, congé d'adoption, exercice des fonctions de juré, information génétique, origine ethnique

Remarks

Art. L 1132-1 LC: list of prohibited grounds of discrimination. [New in 2012: sexual identity was introduced as a new prohibited ground by Law No 2012-954 of 6 August 2012]
Art. L 1132-2 LC: lawful exercise of the right to strike.
Art. L1132-3 LC: having testified to the actions prohibited under art. L 1132-1 and L1132.2 LC or having reported them.
Art. L1132-3-1 LC: performing jury service
[New in 2013:] Art. L 1132-3-2: refusing, because of one’s sexual orientation, a job transfer to a country that criminalizes homosexuality.
[New in 2013:] Art. L 1132-3-3: having reported or testified, in good faith, to facts constituting a misdemeanour or a crime of which the employee would have become aware in the performance of his or her duties

Art. L 1132-4: any dismissal based on one of these grounds is invalid.
Art. L 1225-4 LC: dismissal is prohibited during pregnancy, where this has been medically certified, during maternity leave (whether or not the worker uses the right to take the leave), nor during the following 4 weeks. Dismissal is nonetheless permitted in case of a serious fault of the worker unrelated to pregnancy, or when the employer is unable to maintain the contract of employment for reasons unconnected with pregnancy or confinement. In such a case, the termination of employment cannot be notified nor take effect during the above-mentioned periods. The same protection against dismissal applies to parents during the adoption leave (see art. 1225-38 LC)

Travailleurs bénéficiant d'une protection particulière: représentants des travailleurs, femmes enceintes ou en congé de maternité

Remarks

*Workers' representatives:
- Trade union representatives and other worker's representatives: art. L 2411-1 LC
- Worker's adviser: art. 1232-14 LC
* Pregnant women and women on maternity leave: art. L 1225-4 and L 1225-5 LC, employees on adoption leave: art 1225-38 LC

Forme de la notification du licenciement au travailleur: écrite

Remarks

Letter of notification: art. L 1232-6 LC.
(Mandatory oral interview prior to written notification, during which the employee may be assisted by an adviser: art. L 1232-2 and L 1232-4 LC.)

Délai de préavis:

Remarks

According to art. L 1234-1 of the LC, the minimum mandatory notice period (excl. in cases of serious misconduct) is the following:
*1 month for tenure of more than 6 months and less than 2 years.
*2 months for at least 2 year-tenure.
These provisions apply unless the law, a collective agreement, the employment contract or customs set rules that are more favourable to the employee.
*For tenure of less than 6 months, the notice period is to be defined by law, collective agreements or, failing that, customs of the trade.

Note: In case of business closure due to force majeure, no obligation to respect the notice period : art. L 1234-12 LC

ancienneté ≥ 6 mois:

  • Tous: 1 mois.

ancienneté ≥ 9 mois:

  • Tous: 1 mois.

ancienneté ≥ 2 ans:

  • Tous: 2 mois.

ancienneté ≥ 4 ans:

  • Tous: 2 mois.

ancienneté ≥ 5 ans:

  • Tous: 2 mois.

ancienneté ≥ 10 ans:

  • Tous: 2 mois.

ancienneté ≥ 20 ans:

  • Tous: 2 mois.

Indemnité compensatrice de préavis: Oui

Remarks

Art. 1234-5 LC (not due in case of serious misconduct)

Notification à l'administration publique: Non

Notification aux représentants des travailleurs: Non

Autorisation de l'administration publique ou d'un organe judiciaire: Non

Accord des représentants des travailleurs: Non

Définition du licenciement collectif (nombre d'employés concernés): The labour code defines economic dismissal but not collective dismissals.
However, the LC contains specific sections on the legal requirements applicable to economic dismissal concerning:
1) less than 10 employees over a 30-day period;
2) 10 or more employees over a 30-day period.

Remarks

See: art. L 1233-3 LC, art. L 1233-8 ff. LC , art. L 1233-21 ff. LC
NB: Special additional category: dismissals following receivership or judicial winding-up: art. L 1233-58 LC.

[New in 2013] Act No. 2013-504 of 14 June 2013 on employment security introduced the concept of “employment maintenance agreement”: in companies facing serious economic difficulties, a collective agreement may, within certain limits, provide for the modification of working time arrangements and remuneration in exchange for the preservation of jobs. These agreements can be concluded for a period of 2 years maximum. During that period, the employer cannot dismiss for economic reasons any employee to whom the agreement applies. Refusal of such modifications by an employee leads to his or her economic dismissal. See art. L 5125-2 LC.

Consultation préalable des syndicats (représentants des travailleurs): Oui

Remarks

* Dismissals concerning less than 10 employees over a 30 day period: art. L 1233-8 to L 1233-10.
* Dismissals concerning 10 or more employees over a 30 day period: art. L 1233-28 to L 1233-33 LC.

(Criminal penalties for failure to observe those requirements: art. L1238-2 LC)

Notification à l'administration publique: Oui

Remarks

* Less than 10 employees over a 30 day period of time: art. L 1233-19 LC.
* 10 or more employees over a 30 day period: art. L 1233-46 LC.

+ Criminal penalties for failure to observe the notification requirement: art. R1238-2 (less than 10 employees) and art. L 1238-4 LC (10 or more employees).

Notification aux représentants des travailleurs: Oui

Remarks

* Less than 10 employees over 30 days: art. L 1233-8 to L 1233-10
*10 or more employees over 30 days: art. L 1233-28 to L 1233-33 LC.

[New in 2013: following the adoption of Act No. 2013-504 of 14 June 2013, companies with at least 1000 employees who intend to proceed to a collective dismissal leading to the closure of an establishment must inform the works council accordingly and look for a take-over business. See art. L. 1233-90-1 LC

Autorisation de l'administration publique ou d'un organe judiciaire: Oui

Remarks

Intervention of the administration [new in 2013 ] in companies not subject to the obligation to establish an employment safeguard plan (plan de sauvegarde de lu2019emploi), the administration verifies the regularity of the procedure (with regard to information to the workers' representatives, adoption of social plan): See L 1233-53 and L 1233-56 LC.

Note: Companies subject to the obligation to establish an employment safeguard plan are those with at least 50 employees that intend to proceed to the dismissal of at least 10 employees over a 30-day period, art. L.1233-61 LC.

[New in 2013] The following measures were introduced by Act No. 2013-504 of 14 June 2013 on employment security: when the establishment of an employment safeguard plan is mandatory, its content may be determined by collective agreement (art. L 1233-24-1 to L 1233-24-3 LC). In the absence of a collective agreement, it is established by the employer ( art. 1233-24-4 LC). The collective agreement or the document unilaterally established by the employer must be submitted to the administrative authorities for approval (see art. 1233-57-1 to art. 1233-57-8 LC).Further, approval of the labour inspectorate is requested prior to dismissal of some protected workers (i.e. trade union rep.: art. L 2411-3 LC).

Accord des représentants des travailleurs: Non

Règles de priorité pour l'ordre des des licenciements collectifs (situation sociale, âge, ancienneté): Oui

Remarks

Art. L 1233-5 LC:
In the absence of a collective agreement, the employer defines the criteria used to determine the order in which the dismissals will take place, after consultation with the works council or, in the absence of such a body, with workers' representatives. These criteria take into consideration, among others:
1) family responsibilities
2) length of service
3) the situation of employees whose re-entry in the labour market is difficult for social reasons (in particular for elderly employees and persons living with a disability)
4) professional skills.

[New in 2013] Following the amendment of this provision by Act No. 2013-504 of 14 June 2013 on employment security, the employer can give more weight to one of these criteria, provided that the other criteria are taken into consideration.

Obligation de l'employeur d'examiner des solutions alternatives au licenciement (transferts, formation...): Oui

Remarks

Art. L 1233-4 LC: a collective dismissal can only take place after having made every possible training and adaptation effort and if the redeployment of the employee concerned, in the same company or in another company of the same group, appears not to be possible.
Mandatory "employment safeguard plan" (plan de sauvegarde de l'emploi) to avoid dismissals or limit their number, for enterprises with more than 50 employees in case of a collective dismissal concerning 10 or more employees over a 30 day period: art. L 1233-61 to L 1233-64 LC. [New in 2013: the dismissal procedure is invalid in the absence of a decision by the administrative authority to approve the employment safeguard plan. See art. L1235-10 LC as amended by Act No. 2013-504 of 14 June 2013].

In addition, in companies with at least 1000 employees, the employer must propose to the employees concerned a “reclassification leaveu201d (congé de reclassement). [New in 2013:] the maximum length of this leave was raised from 9 to 12 months (art. L. 1233-71 LC). In companies that are not subject to this obligation, the employer must propose a “professional employability agreementu201d (contrat de sécurisation professionnelle) (art. L.1233-66).
[New in 2013]: Further, following the adoption of Act No. 2013-504 of 14 June 2013, companies with at least 1000 employees who intend to proceed to a collective dismissal leading to the closure of an establishment must inform the works council accordingly and look for a take-over business. See art. L. 1233-90-1 LC.

Règles de priorité de réembauche: Oui

Remarks

In case of economic dismissal : preferential rehiring during a 1-year period, upon request of the employee: art. L 1233-16 and L 1233-45 LC.
See also art. L 1235-13 LC: non-observance of the preferential right to re-employment entails payment of a compensation of a least 2 months' wages.

Indemnité de licenciement:

Remarks

Art. L 1234-9 LC : right to severance pay after a tenure of at least 1 year without interruption, except in case of serious misconduct.
The calculation modalities are determined by art. R 1234-2 LC:
The statutory minimum is 1/5 of monthly wages per year of service.
For employees with more than 10 years of service, 2/15 of the monthly wages multiplied by the number of years of service beyond 10 years must be added.

Ex:
Tenure of 1 year: 1/5 x 1 = 0.2 month
Tenure of 20 years: (1/5 x 20) + (2/15 x 10) = 5.33 months

ancienneté ≥ 6 mois: 0 mois

ancienneté ≥ 9 mois: 0 mois

ancienneté ≥ 1 an: 0.2 mois

ancienneté ≥ 4 ans: 0.8 mois

ancienneté ≥ 5 ans: 1 mois

ancienneté ≥ 10 ans: 2 mois

ancienneté ≥ 20 ans: 5.3 mois

Indemnité de licenciement pour motif économique:

Remarks

No specific redundancy payment. Severance pay covers economic (individual and collective) dismissals (Art. L 1234-9 LC).

ancienneté ≥ 6 mois: 0 mois

ancienneté ≥ 9 mois: 0 mois

ancienneté ≥ 1 an: 0.2 mois

ancienneté ≥ 2 ans: 0.4 mois

ancienneté ≥ 4 ans: 0.8 mois

ancienneté ≥ 5 ans: 1 mois

ancienneté ≥ 10 ans: 2 mois

ancienneté ≥ 20 ans: 5.3 mois

Compensation pour licenciement injustifié - montant librement déterminé par la cour: Non

Compensation pour licenciement injustifié - limites légales (plafond en mois ou methode de calcul définie): Absence of serious and genuine cause:
The judge may propose the reintegration of the employee. In case of refusal by any of the parties, he or she awards financial compensation, which, as a minimum, shall amount to 6 months' wages, without prejudice to severance pay. These provisions do not apply in the case of employees with less than 2 years of service or in a company with less than 11 employees. In such cases, if the dismissal is abusive, the employee is entitled to receive a compensation corresponding to the damage suffered (art. L 1235-5 LC).

Remarks

See art. L 1235-3 LC.

In addition, when the dismissal is justified by a serious and genuine cause but the employer fails to observe the prescribed procedure for individual dismissals, the judge obliges the employer to follow the prescribed procedure and awards to the employee a compensation not exceeding one month's wages (art. L 1235-2 LC). This provision does not apply in the case of employees with less than 2 years of service or in a company with less than 11 employees. In such cases, if the dismissal is abusive, the employee is entitled to receive a compensation corresponding to the damage suffered (art. L 1235-5 LC).

Possibilité de réintégration dans l'emploi: Oui

Remarks

Art. L 1235-3 LC :
The judge can propose the employee's reinstatement in case of unfair dismissal (absence of a serious and genuine cause). No reinstatement is proposed in the case of an employee with less than 2 years of service or in a company with less than 11 employees (art. L 1235-5 LC).

Conciliation préalable obligatoire: Oui

Remarks

Art. L 1411-1 LC: conciliation takes place before the conciliation section of the labour court ("Conseil des Prud'hommes").
[New in 2013] Act No. 2013-504 of 14 June 2013 introduced the possibility to conclude, at the conciliation stage, an agreement on the payment of a flate-rate compensation, the amount of which is to be determined by reference to a scale fixed by decree, based on the employee's seniority. This compensation is without prejudice to any other compensation due in accordance with the law, a collective agreement or the contract. See art. L 1235-1 LC.

Courts ou tribunaux compétents: tribunal du travail

Remarks

Art. L 1411-1 LC
[New in 2013]. Act No. 2013-504 of 14 June 2013 modified the rules regarding the competent court in case of economic dismissals when the establishment of an employment safeguard plan is mandatory (dismissal of at least 10 employees over a 30-day period in companies with at least 50 employees). Administrative courts (and no longer labour courts) are competent for any dispute regarding the collective agreement or unilateral decision of the employer establishing the employment safeguard plan, as well as the plan itself, the lawfulness of the collective dismissal process and the decision of the administration to approve it. See art. L 1235-7-1 LC.

Règlement des litiges individuels par arbitrage: Non

Durée de la procédure: 12mois

Remarks

The average length of proceedings following the conciliation attempt is 11 to 12 months (not taking into consideration possible appeals). However, when there is no agreement among the employment tribunal members, another hearing needs to take place with the participation of a professional judge. This may prolong the procedure by up to 2 years. The European Court of Human Rights has condemned France for excessive length of the proceedings before the labour courts.

Source: https://www.village-justice.com/articles/delais-excessifs-procedure-prud-homale-etat-face-aux-actions-des-salaries,25660.html

% de litiges relatifs au licenciement par raport au nombre total de litiges: 93.9

Remarks

Data for 2009 - Source: Study of the French Ministry of Justice (2019)
(See: http://www.justice.gouv.fr/art_pix/Le_contentieux_Prud-homal_valid_19.09.2019.pdf)