Employment contracts

What is an employment contract?

A document that commits an employer and an employee

And which includes specific elements, provided for by the labor code:

An employment contract has 3 stages:

A birth

A life

An end

The employment contract is based on a hierarchy of norms:

Labor Code

Collective agreements

Branch agreements, company agreements


Mandatory elements of the employment contract:

The position held

The working time

The duration of the contract

The trial period, if any

Vacation entitlements

Notice periods


So many elements that must be checked before signing because the employment contract commits both parties and serves as a reference in case of later dispute.

an employment contract is not necessarily written:

an oral agreement is sufficient for a permanent contract

A written contract is mandatory for a fixed-term contract

In practice, the employment contract is most often written

The birth of the contract

Usually written in the form of articles, or serfs document

Signed by both parties

Mention read and approved

Initialed on each page

The trial period

On the employer’s side: It allows him to evaluate the employee’s skills in his work.

On the employee’s side: It allows the employer to verify that the employee is suitable for the position.

It can be terminated freely and at any time, without justification, provided that a notice period is respected.

The trial period is not compulsory (to exist, it must be provided for in the employment contract or the letter of engagement).

It has a maximum duration set by the French Labor Code, collective agreements or the employment contract.

The different types of contracts:

Contract for an indefinite period of time (CDI): Normal form, no time limit

Contract for an indefinite period of time (CDI): Mandatory written form (minimum annual duration, work periods, distribution of work hours)

Fixed-term contract (CDD): Mention of the name of the person replaced, Limited duration (not necessarily defined)

Fixed-term contract: In certain sectors where it is customary not to have recourse to a fixed-term contract (hotels, restaurants, training, etc.), written form is mandatory

Temporary employment contract: It is a tripartite contract between the employee, the user company and the employment agency

Professionalization contract: 16–25 years old > 26 years old, Employee status, ¼ of the time spent in training, fixed-term or permanent contract, 25 to 85% of the minimum wage

Apprenticeship contract: 16–25 years old, salaried status/not taken into account in the workforce, at least 400 hours of training, 25 to 78% of the minimum wage

Termination of the employment contract:

Either the trial period is terminated

Or we arrive at the end initially planned (CDD).

Or it is the rupture, with on both sides, the obligation to warn (PREAVIS, indicated in the contract)

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