Employment contracts in France: types and characteristics
In France, labor law is quite complex and regulated by numerous regulations. The system of employment contracts in this country is diverse and is determined by the type of work, the nature of employment, as well as other factors. Learn more about the main types of employment contracts in France and their characteristics
An employment contract in France is an important document that regulates the relationship between an employer and an employee. There are different types of employment contracts in this country, among which the most common are CDI (Contrat à Durée Indéterminée) and CDD (Contrat à Durée Déterminée). A CDI is an indefinite term contract that provides the employee with stability and a higher level of social protection. A CDD is a contract for a certain period of time used for temporary work or projects. When choosing an employment contract, it is important to carefully weigh the pros and cons, taking into account your needs and professional goals.
Open-ended employment contract in France - CDI
An open-ended CDI contract (contrat de travail à Durée Indéterminée) is the most common form of employment in France. It has no fixed expiration date and provides for a short probationary period of 2–3 months. One of the main advantages of a CDI is that you can terminate the agreement at will or with the consent of both parties, provided that you meet the notice periods. This type of agreement provides both employees and employers with more flexibility in managing their labor relations.
Fixed-term employment contract in France - CDD
A CDD (Contrat de travail à Durée Déterminée) is an agreement that is concluded for a certain period of time. Such a contract ends at the date specified at the time of hiring. The maximum duration of a CDD is 18 months. After this period, the employer must offer the employee an indefinite CDI (Contrat de travail à Durée Indéterminée) contract. It is important to note that an employee with a CDD contract has the same rights and obligations as an employee with an indefinite CDI contract.
Usually, neither the employer nor the employee can terminate the CDD before its expiration, except in cases provided for by law.
Such a contract is concluded to perform specific and temporary tasks and does not provide for permanent work related to the company's ongoing operations. This issue is strictly regulated by law and is applied in limited cases, such as replacement of an absent employee, temporary increase in staff due to increased activity, seasonal work, publicly funded contracts, etc.
A fixed-term CDD contract can be extended no more than twice for a period less than or equal to the initial contract.
Part-time employment contract in France
A part-time employment contract (contrat de travail à temps partiel) is an agreement that provides for work of less than 35 hours per week and can take the form of either a fixed-term CDD contract or an open-ended CDI. A part-time employee has the opportunity to work additional hours, which must be paid by the employer, sometimes at a more favorable rate.
A part-time employment agreement must contain the following mandatory elements:
1. Qualifications of the employee;
2. Remuneration received for his/her work;
3. Weekly or monthly working hours;
4. The distribution of working hours between days of the week or weeks of the month (work schedule);
5. The limits within which additional hours may be worked;
6. Method of notifying the employee of the work schedule for each day worked;
7. Cases when the work schedule may be changed and the procedure for such change.
Part-time employees may also benefit from additional benefits, such as Prime d'activité, which are designed to increase income and provide financial support to part-time employees.
Apprenticeship contracts in France
In France, there are several types of apprenticeship contracts (contrats en alternance) that allow you to combine periods of study and work at an enterprise in order to obtain a professional qualification. These contracts are available to young people aged 16 to 25 and are characterized by the fact that they are paid in full, unlike internships.
There are three main types of apprenticeship contracts:
1. Contract for professionalization (Le contrat de professionnalization);
2. Apprenticeship contract (Le contrat d'apprentissage);
3. Unique integration contract (Le contrat unique d'insertion).
These types of contracts provide young professionals with the opportunity to receive quality education and professional experience at the same time, which contributes to their successful career integration.
Other employment contracts in France
Beyond the widely used employment contracts in France, there are also less common types of contracts that reflect the diverse needs and circumstances of employees and employers. Let's take a look at a few of them:
1. The purpose contract (CDD, à objet défini). This fixed-term contract is concluded for a specific project or task. Its important feature is that it terminates automatically upon completion of the target project.
2. Part-time contract (contrat de travail à temps partiel). This is an agreement under which an employee works less than full time, often less than 35 hours per week. This contract provides more flexibility and allows people to adjust their work schedule to their needs.
3. Intermittent employment contract (contrat de travail intermittent). A long-term contract where working and non-working periods alternate. It is used in industries that emphasize seasonality or fluctuating demand for labor, such as education, agriculture, and tourism.
4. Alternative contract. This type of contract can take different forms, such as an internship contract (contrat d'apprentissage) or a vocational training contract (contrat de professionalization). The purpose is for the person to acquire professional skills corresponding to the diploma he or she has obtained or has just obtained, as part of practical training in the workplace.
These less common employment contracts offer additional opportunities for employment and professional development in France, taking into account the specific circumstances and needs of each employee.
In summary, employment contracts in France are diverse and vary in terms and types. The choice of contract type should take into account your needs and objectives, as well as legal requirements. Employers and employees have rights and obligations that should be carefully studied and respected. Knowledge of French labor law is essential to ensure harmonious and fair labor relations in this country.
Igor Usyk - Head of Legal Department at Visit World
For safe relocation to France, obtaining refugee status and employment, use the advice of an international lawyer. We help to solve complex and simple issues for your comfort and safety in France.
Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:
Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in France;
Insurance for foreign students in France.
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Immigration to France: how to move for permanent residence.
Health Insurance in France for Foreigners: a detailed guide.
Getting a work visa to France: required documents and peculiarities of the procedure.
France immigration: a detailed guide for Ukrainian refugees in FR.
French Tech Visa: obtaining a residence permit under the Passeport Talent program.
Higher education in France for foreigners: a detailed guide.
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