(Social Law Chamber, Supreme Court, March 25, 2015 n°14-10149)

An employee had agreed on the amicable termination of her employment contract while she was on maternity leave. Then she challenged this termination in court, claiming that her termination was void.

French judges rejected her claim, changing their position from previous cases and arguing that even if the agreement to the amicable termination was given while on maternity leave, it was valid and so was the amicable termination.

This position may seem surprising since, as a matter of principle, amicable terminations cannot validly be concluded during a period of suspension of the employment contract. Nevertheless, this position has been softened by judges who first admitted in 2014 that amicable termination agreements may be entered into by an employee on sick leave after a work related accident. This decision on March 25, 2015 shows that French judges wish to continue to soften the rules to facilitate amicable terminations.