Types of Job Contracts in France
Understand the various types of job contract that exist in France...
When you start working in France, it is likely that your job contract falls into one of the two main categories:
- Contrat à Durée Indéterminée (CDI): contracts with an unlimited term
- Contrat à Durée Déterminée (CDD): fixed-term contracts
- Also, the Contrat temporaire ou d'intérim (Part time or Temporary Job Contract)
Contrat à Durée Indéterminée (CDI)This is a permanent job contract with no end-date. Employment usually begins with a two- to three-month trial period, which can be renewed. A written job contract is not compulsory (a verbal agreement can be sufficient) unless the convention collective stipulates one, although the employer must inform the employee in writing of the primary responsibilities of the job. The contract for part-time CDI posts must in writing.
- More information on CDI from Service Public (in French)
- More information on ending a contract from Service Public (in French)
Contrat à Durée Déterminée (CDD)This is a fixed-term contract for a specific duration of employment. It can be renewed twice. There is no minimum time-period, however the length of a CDD cannot exceed the maximum authorised length, which is between 9-24 months depending on contract type. After this period, the employment must cease or the contract be transferred to a CDI. The employee's rights and obligations are identical to those of a person with a CDI. A CDD can only be used in the following situations:
- Seasonal work
- To replace an employee who is absent for illness, maternity, holiday, training or parental leave
- In the case of state-funded contracts
- To accommodate temporary increased staffing needs
- More information on CDD contracts (in French)
- Learn more about the rights at the end of a CDD contract (in French)
CDD à objet définiThis type of contract is a fixed-term contract for a specific duration of employment, 18-36 months, at the end of a mission. It is reserved for engineers and cadres. It cannot be renewed.
- More information about CDD à objet défini (in French)
- Detailed information from the Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi, de la formation professionnelle et du dialogue social (in French)
Contrat de Travail Temporaire ou d’Intérim (Temporary/Agency Job Contracts)The contract conditions are almost the same as for a CDD except that there are three parties involved, the employer, the employee and the employment agency. Companies can only use temporary employees for short-term activities. The employee is hired and paid for each placement by the agency.
- More information on temporary agency contracts (in French)
- Learn more about the length of the contract (in French)
- More information on salary and bonus (in French)
Contrat de Travail CDD SeniorThis is a fixed term contract for people aged 57 and over who have been looking for a job for more than three months, or who benefits from a contrat de sécurisation professionnelle (CSP). The contract is maximum 18 month, renewable for a further 18 months, only if the CDD is shorter than three months.
- For more information on Contrat de Travail CDD Senior (in French)
Emploi d'Avenir (Employment for the Future)This contract is intended for unemployed persons aged 16 to 25, with a niveau bac or less, who has serious difficulties to enter on the job market. Special conditions apply to disabled persons.
- Learn more about Emploi d’Avenir (in French)
Contrat de Travail à Temps Partiel (Part time Job Contract)This contract can exist as a CDI or a CDD and can apply to any employee who works less than 35 hours a week. The annual total cannot exceed 1,607 hours.
- Learn more about part time job contracts (in French)
- Employee's job title
- Monthly or weekly amount of hours
- The maximum overtime allowed
- Weekly or monthly division of work time
- When and how weekly or monthly hours can be modified
- More information about changes to the contract (in French)
Ending an Employment ContractRegardless of the type of job contract, the employer has to give the following documents to the employee at the end of the contract:
- Certificate stating position held (certificat de travail)
- A document for the Pôle emploi (Attestation destinée à Pôle emploi), allowing the person to claim unemployment benefits
- Solde de tout compte
- The French government website, Service-Public has comprehensive information (in French)
- Ministère de Travail, Cohésion Sociale et Logement (Ministry of employment)
- French unemployment organisation Pôle Emploi