The different types of employment contracts in France

12 October 2022
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In terms of employment contracts in France, each one has its specificities so that  several types of contracts co-exist. Let’s take a look at them together:

The permanent employment contract (CDI)

The permanent employment contract (CDI) is the most widespread form of employment contracts in France. It guarantees a certain permanence of employment.

By definition, this contract does not specify the date on which it ends.

Thus, an employee hired under a permanent contract may keep his or her job for as long as he or she wishes, unless he or she chooses to resign, to give up his or her position, to be dismissed by his or her employer, or if he or she decides by mutual agreement with his or her employer to part ways by means of a conventional rupture.

A permanent contract can be concluded on a full-time or part-time basis. The working hours (weekly or monthly) are specified in the contract.

Fixed-term contract (CDD)

A fixed-term contract (CDD) is a contract between an employer and an employee, concluded for a limited period of time in order to carry out a specific task, for one of the reasons authorized by the law. It ends either on the fixed date or in the absence of a precise term when the purpose for which it was concluded is achieved (return of the replaced employee, end of the season, etc.).

It must be written. Regardless of the reason for which it is concluded, such a contract may not have the purpose or effect of permanently filling a job related to the normal and permanent activity of the company.

When is it possible to hire under this type of contract?

  • In case of replacement of an absent employee ;
  • In case of replacement of an employee who is temporarily working part-time;
  • When waiting for a new employee to take up his or her duties;
  • In case of waiting for the definitive suppression of an employee’s position;
  • In case of temporary growth of the company;
  • Due to the nature of the activity (moving, investigation, teaching, etc.)
  • In case of seasonal employment.

The employee is entitled to an indemnity at the end of the contract, known as the precariousness bonus, when the fixed-term contract comes to an end and is not followed by a permanent contract. It is equal to at least 10% of the total gross remuneration paid during the contract. This percentage may be limited to 6% by an agreement or an extended collective branch agreement in exchange, in particular, for privileged access to professional training.

Are you planning to recruit an employee based in France without having a permanent establishment in France?

We can assist you in the administrative procedures to comply with French regulations

Temporary employment contract (intérim)

The conclusion of a temporary employment contract is only possible for the execution of a precise and temporary task limited in time, called an assignment, and only in the cases listed by law.

An employee under a temporary employment contract is therefore an employee hired and paid by a temporary employment company (ETT) which places him/her at the disposal of a user company for a limited period of time.

Temporary workers are entitled to compensation, notably linked to the precariousness of their employment. This allowance is equal to 10% of the total gross salary received. They also receive a compensatory allowance for paid vacations.

The apprenticeship contract and the professionalization contract

The apprenticeship contract and the professionalization contract are alternating work contracts, with a period of training and a period of activity in the company. Their similar objective is to obtain a professional qualification for the employee.

  Apprenticeship contract Professionalization contract        
Objectif Obtain a diploma or an approved title (initial training) Obtain a diploma or a professional qualification (continuing education)
Target audience 16 to 29 years 16 to 25 years  
Compensation 27 and 100% of the SMIC(minimum wage) according to age and the training concerned Between 55 and 100% of the SMIC (Minimum wage)  
Eligible training Diploma or professional title registered with the RNCP Diploma or professional title registered with the RNCP  
  Certificate of professional qualification (CQP) branch or inter-branch  
Exemption General reduction of charges reinforced General reduction of charges reinforced      

Maintenance of the exemption from employee contributions limited to 79% of the SMIC

One-time apprenticeship assistance for the company


Single integration contract

The single integration contract (CUI) is an employment contract concluded between an employer who will receive financial aid, and an employee who will benefit from professional integration aid. It aims to facilitate the hiring of people who have difficulty finding a job.

The duration of the CUI is in principle limited to 24 months, unless otherwise stipulated by law.

The employment contract can be a permanent or temporary contract, and the weekly working time must be at least 20 hours.

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