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.
Art. L1242-2 LC was amended by Act No. 2014-1545 of 20 December 2014 by the inclusion of a sixth case of use of FTC: for the recruitment of engineers or executives for a specific project (“contrat à objet définiu201d). The contract ends upon completion of the project, with a minimum of 18 months and a maximum of 36 months, see art. L.1242-8-1 LC.

Nombre maximum de CDD successifs: 3

Remarks

[New in 2017:] Art. L 1243-13 LC was amended by Order No. 2017-1387 of 22 September 2017. An extended sectoral collective agreement may determine the maximum number of renewals of FTCs. This number may not have the purpose or the effect of permanently filling a job related to the normal and permanent activity of the enterprise. In the absence of a provision to that effect in a collective agreement, the previous limit of 2 successive renewals remains applicable (new art. L. 1243-13-1 LC).
However, the contract for a specific project (“contrat à objet définiu201d) cannot be renewed (art. L.1242-8-2 LC).

Durée cumulée maximum de CDD successifs: 18mois

Remarks

[New in 2017:] Art. L 1242-8 LC was amended by Order No. 2017-1387 of 22 September 2017. An extended sectoral collective agreement may determine the maximum cumulative duration of FTCs. This duration may not have the purpose or the effect of permanently filling a job related to the normal and permanent activity of the enterprise. In the absence of a provision to that effect in a collective agreement, the maximum duration is normally set at 18 months and can be up to 24 months in 3 specific situations, e.g. when an exceptionally important order for products to be exported is received (art. L. 1242-8-1 LC).
The maximum length of a contract for a specific project (“contrat à objet définiu201d) is 36 months. Art. L 1242-8-2 LC.

% 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, lieu de résidence, congé d'adoption, exercice des fonctions de juré, information génétique, origine ethnique

Remarks

[New in 2017:] Art. L 1132-1 LC was amended by Act No. 2017-256 of 28 February 2017. The list of prohibited grounds of discrimination was reintroduced in this provision and an additional ground was included (“bank domiciliation”).
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
Art. L 1132-3-2: refusing, because of one’s sexual orientation, a job transfer to a country that criminalizes homosexuality.
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. Whistleblowing relating to acts of corruption is also included since 2016.

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). Dismissal is also prohibited during any period of annual leave following the maternity leave, as well as during the 10-week period following the maternity or annual leave. 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. Further, a new art. 1225-4-1 was adopted to protect all employees during the first 10 weeks following the birth of their child. 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, and new parents : art. L 1225-4 and L 1225-5 LC, employees on adoption leave: art 1225-38 LC. Art. L 1225-4 LC was amended to protect women also during the period of annual leave following the maternity leave, as well as for a period of 10 weeks following the maternity or annual leave. Further, a new art. 1225-4-1 was adopted to protect all employees during the first 10 weeks following the birth of their child.

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
[New in 2017:] The definition of economic dismissal contained in art. L 1233-3 LC was modified by Order No. 2017-1387 of 22 September 2017and Order No. 2017-1718 of 20 December 2017.
•NB: Special additional category: dismissals following receivership or judicial winding-up: art. L 1233-58 LC.
•[New in 2017: Order No. 2017-1385 of 22 September 2017 abrogated art. L 5125-2 LC, which provided for the possibility to conclude an “employment maintenance agreement”: in companies facing serious economic difficulties It also amended article 2254-2 LC, which now provides for the possibility to conclude enterprise agreements “in order to meet the needs arising from the operation of the enterprise”, in addition to those concluded for the purpose of preserving or developing employment. The existence of economic difficulties is not required. If an employee refuses the modification of his or her employment contract resulting from the application of such an agreement, s/he may be dismissed. Such dismissal no longer constitutes an economic dismissal. It is an individual dismissal lying on genuine and serious grounds.

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. [New in 2017: in enterprises with at least 11 employees, a newly created body, the social and economic committee, needs to be consulted, art. L 1233-8 LC as amended by Order No. 2017-1718 of 22 September 2017.]
* Dismissals concerning 10 or more employees over a 30 day period: art. L 1233-28 to L 1233-33 LC. [New in 2017: the social and economic committee needs to be consulted, art. L 1233-28 LC as amended by Order No. 2017-1718 of 22 September 2017.]

(Criminal penalties for failure to observe those requirements: art. L1238-2 LC)
If a company with at least 1000 employees intends to close an establishment and such a decision would lead to collective dismissals, t must inform and consult the social and economic committee, including on any take-over proposal it wishes to accept. Art. L 1233-57-9 to L 1233-57-11 and art. L 1233-57-15 to L 1233-57-19 LC. [New in 2017: the social and economic committee replaces the works council, following the adoption of Order No. 2017-1718 of 22 September 2017.

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).
Following the adoption of Act No. 2014-384 of 29 March 2014, a company with at least 1000 employees must inform immediately the administrative authority and the mayor of the municipality concerned of any intention to close an establishment when such a decision would lead to collective dismissals. Art. L. 1233-57-12 and L 1233-57-13 LC.

Notification aux représentants des travailleurs: Oui

Remarks

• * Less than 10 employees over 30 days: art. L 1233-8 to L 1233-10 [New in 2017: in enterprises with at least 11 employees, notification needs to be made to the social and economic committee, art. L 1233-8 LC as amended by Order No. 2017-1718 of 22 September 2017.]

*10 or more employees over 30 days: art. L 1233-28 to L 1233-33 LC. [New in 2017: notification needs to be made to the social and economic committee, art. L 1233-28 LC as amended by Order No. 2017-1718 of 22 September 2017.]

• A company with at least 1000 employees must inform the social and economic committee of any intention to close an establishment when such a decision would lead to collective dismissals. See art. L. 1233-57-9 to L 1233-57-11, art. L 1233-57-15 to art. L 1233-57-20 LC.

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

Remarks

Intervention of the administration 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.

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 social and economic committee [ New in 2017: this committee replaces the works council and theworkers' representatives (délégués du personnel) following the adoption of Order No. 2017-1387 of 22 September 2017]. 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.
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

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. [New in 2017: a redeployment can only take place in companies whose organization, activities or place of operation provides for the rotation of all or part of the staff (art. L1233-4 LC as amended by Order No. 2017-1387 of 22 September 2017. Further, Order No. 2017-1387 abrogated art. L 1233-4-1 L, which provided that the employee had the possibility to request the employer to address him or her job offers in other countries.] Mandatory "employment safeguard plan" (plan de sauvegarde de l'emploi) to avoid dismissals or limit their number, for companies 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. The dismissal procedure is invalid in the absence of a decision by the administrative authority to approve the employment safeguard plan (art. L. 1235-10 LC).

In addition, in companies with at least 1000 employees, the employer must propose to the employees concerned a “reclassification leaveu201d (congé de reclassement) of up to 12 months (art. L. 1233-71). 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).

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

[New in 2017:] The rules on severance pay were amended by Order No. 2017-1387 of 22 September 2017 and Decree No. 2017-1398 of 25 September 2017.
Art. L 1234-9 LC : right to severance pay after a tenure of at least 8 months (instead of 1 year as was previously the rule) without interruption, except in case of serious misconduct.
The calculation modalities are determined by art. R 1234-2 LC:
The statutory minimum is 1/4 (instead of 1/5) of monthly wages per year of service.
For employees with more than 10 years of service, 1/4 for the first 10 years and 1/3 for the following years. (the amount was modified only for the first 10 years of service).

Ex:
Tenure of 1 year: 1/4 x 1 = 0.25 month
Tenure of 20 years: (1/4 x 10) + (1/3 x 10) = 5.83 months

ancienneté ≥ 6 mois: 0 mois

ancienneté ≥ 9 mois: 0.2 mois

ancienneté ≥ 1 an: 0.3 mois

ancienneté ≥ 4 ans: 1 mois

ancienneté ≥ 5 ans: 1.3 mois

ancienneté ≥ 10 ans: 2.5 mois

ancienneté ≥ 20 ans: 5.8 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: 0.2 mois

ancienneté ≥ 1 an: 0.3 mois

ancienneté ≥ 2 ans: 0.5 mois

ancienneté ≥ 4 ans: 1 mois

ancienneté ≥ 5 ans: 1.3 mois

ancienneté ≥ 10 ans: 2.5 mois

ancienneté ≥ 20 ans: 5.8 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. The regulation regarding the amount of this compensation was substantially modified by Order No. 2017-1387 of 22 September 2017.

Remarks

See art. L 1235-3 LC, as modified by Order No. 2017-1387. This provision now contains a table defining the minimum and maximum compensation, depending on the length of service of the employee.
For 1 year of service: minimum 1 month and maximum 2 months;
For 10 years of service: minimum 3 months and maximum 10 months;
For 20 years of service: minimum 3 months and maximum 15.5 months.
If the company usually employs less than 11 employees, the minimum amount is set at a reduced level for employees with 1 to 10 years of service (for 1 year of service: 0.5 month; for 10 years of service: 2.5 months).
These new rules do not apply, however, when the dismissal is invalid for one of the reasons listed in art. L 1235-3-1 LC, notably in case of breach of a fundamental freedom, moral or sexual harassment, or discriminatory dismissal. In such cases, the compensation cannot be lower than 6 months' wages.
These mandatory minima and maxima replace the indicative scale of compensation introduced in 2016 and mentioned in Art. 1235-1 LC. Accordingly, art. R1235-22 LC was abrogated.
To determine the amount of the compensation, the judge may take into account other compensations received by the employee, except severance pay. The compensation may be granted in addition to the compensation due for other types or irregularities (as provided in art. L 1235-12, L 1235-13 and L 1235-15 LC), as long as the maximum amount defined above is respected.

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).

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).
[New in 2017:] Employees with less than 2 years of service and those in companies with less than 11 employees are no longer excluded from the application of this provision.

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").
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.
In case of dismissal, if no agreement is reached at the conciliation stage, the dispute may be submitted, with the agreement of the parties, to a restricted chamber (1 employer and 1 worker, instead of 2 each), which must take a decision within 3 months. Art. 1454-1-1 LC.
The rules regarding the competent court are different 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.
The statute of limitations is normally set at 2 years on matters related to the execution of the employment contract. [New in 2017: the statute of limitations for disputes related to the termination of the employment contract was reduced from 2 years to 12 months, except in certain limited cases. See art L 1471-1 LC. In the case of an economic dismissal, it is set at 12 months, see art. 1235-7 LC.
The Labour Code was amended by Act No. 2016-1547 of 18 November 2016 to introduce the possibility of a class action by a trade union in case of discrimination on the same ground against several employees of the same enterprise. Civil courts are competent for such actions. See art. L 1134-7 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 2014- 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)