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France
 


Source and scope of regulations - 2012    

References
  • Labour Code (2007-2008: new codification), as subsequently amended, consolidated version dated 31 December 2012 (Code du travail - in French only)
    Date: 31 Dec 2012; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
Scope
Size of enterprises excluded (≤): 10
Workers' categories excluded: civil/public servants; police; army; judiciary

Types of employment contracts - 2012    

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Maximum probationary (trial) period: 8 month(s)

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: Yes
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: objective and material reasons
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: 2
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: 24 month(s)
  • % of workforce under FTC: 15.2 %

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - 2012    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes

Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons

Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; temporary work injury or illness; race; colour; sex; sexual orientation; religion; political opinion; social origin; nationality/national origin; age; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; participation in a lawful strike; whistle blowing; gender identity; state of health; adoption leave; performing jury service; genetic information; ethnic origin  new 

Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave

Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - 2012    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: written

Notice period:
    • tenure ≥ 6 months
      • 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 9 months
      • 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 2 years
      • 2 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 4 years
      • 2 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 5 years
      • 2 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 10 years
      • 2 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 20 years
      • 2 month(s).

    Pay in lieu of notice: Yes

    Notification to the public administration: No

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons (redundancy, retrenchment) - 2012    

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    Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
    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.

    Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): Yes

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): Yes

    Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): Yes

    Priority rules for re-employment: Yes

    Severance pay and redundancy payment - 2012    

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    Severance pay:
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 0.2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 0.4 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 0.8 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 1 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 5.33 month(s)
    Redundancy payment:
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 0.2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 0.4 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 0.8 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 1 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 5.33 month(s)

    Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - 2012    

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    Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: No

    Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method):
    Absence of serious and genuine cause:
    The judge awards compensation which as a minimum shall amount to 6 months' wages.

    Reinstatement available: Yes

    Preliminary mandatory conciliation: Yes

    Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): labour court

    Existing arbitration: No

    Length of procedure: 10 month(s)

    % of dismissals out of the total number of disputes: 70 %

    Source of additional information - 2012    

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    Links

    Use of International Law by Domestic Courts (ICT-ILO) - Compendium »
    Go to "Dismissal" (second item) / France.

    ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations - Comments on the ILO Termination of Employment Convention, 1982, No. 158 (from 1990) »