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Are employers required to give notice of termination?

All termination notices must be in writing. The termination process is strictly regulated under French law and termination letters must explain the grounds for termination and contain certain mandatory information. 

What are the rules that govern redundancy procedures?

Terminations for economic reasons must follow a complex procedure which involves:

  • selection criteria;
  • looking for an alternative role for the employee; and
  • explaining the reasons for the redundancy.

Redundancies must be notified to the labour authority. Certain reports and forms must also be filed to ensure that the employee receives unemployment benefits.

Are there particular rules for collective redundancies/mass layoffs?

Redundancies can be considered collective where two or more employees are at risk of redundancy over 30 days. The procedure will depend on:

  • the number of employees in the company (fewer or more than 50 employees); and
  • the number of employees at risk of redundancy (fewer or more than 10 employees).

This determines whether a social plan is required (from 10 redundancies or more over 30 days), the duration of the consultation and the labour authority’s level of intervention.

What protections do employees have on dismissal?

Employees are protected from dismissal from their first day of employment. In the case of unfair dismissal, an employee is entitled to financial compensation of up to six months’ salary if he or she has been employed with a larger employer for two years.

Employee representatives and pregnant employees enjoy additional protection. The termination of employee representatives is subject to the labour inspector’s approval. Pregnant employees are protected against dismissal from the date that the employer is informed of the pregnancy to at least four weeks after the end of the maternity leave. 

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