In France, there are a couple of ways to terminate a work contract.In this article, we’ll focus on termination of the work contract at your instigation, meaning a resignation.

The relationship can be ended by your employer or by you, like in any other country. However the ways to do it and the consequences will be different based on who instigates the break-up.

There are two main ways to do so.

Little disclaimer : we are not law professionals and the advice we give is of course not exhaustive. If any doubts or questions remain after reading this article, either contact us or a labour law professional.


Why would you hand out your resignation ?

This could seem like a pretty basic question, but don’t forget that you’re in France and we like to complicate things… All jokes aside, there are two scenarios : 

  1. You’re in a permanent contract (CDI) and you can resign pretty much whenever you want. There are of course a couple of steps that we’ll cover below.
  2. You’re not in a permanent contract (CDD or else). Then some conditions may apply for you to resign, for exemple, having another firm job offer. Please check your contract before doing anything reckless !

How do you do it ?

A resignation is quite easy to navigate. There is one step and that is to notify your employer. You can do that via email or a letter. The most important is that when reading the message, it must be clear that you’re leaving your position so that there is no interpretation.

We can also assume that chivalry is not dead and when dealing with other people you’ll walk the extra mile and talk to your employer or management in person or via a call to advise them on your decision before actually sending your resignation letter.

Is there a notice period for when I

can hand in my resignation ?

Answer is yes, and the duration is usually specified in your contract. The period will begin as soon as the resignation has been tended and it’s quite the norm to outline in your resignation letter the date on which you’ll leave after the notice period has run out.

Even though there is a contractual notice period, you may negotiate with your employer to leave your position early. In this situation, it is up to you and the employer to find a common ground based on the needs of the service, the relationship you had etc.

What happens after ?

The common situation when you resign is that you are not eligible to unemployment benefits. However, in some situation, a resignation may trigger the benefits, usually when : 

  • You plan to take over or create a business
  • You need to resign because of your partner being transferred
  • You have a plan for a training afterward

Mutually agreed termination

(rupture conventionnelle)

What is a mutually agreed termination

rupture conventionnelle ?

This category of termination allows you to leave your job with the agreement of your employer. The main advantage compared to a resignation is that you are eligible for unemployment benefits after the procedure, regardless of your situation if you’ve worked for more than 4 consecutive months in France.

How do you get a mutually agreed

termination ?

The procedure has a few steps but it’s really manageable. Here are the main milestones you need to follow : 

  1. Inform your employer that you wish to leave your position and do so with the procedure of mutually agreed termination and request a meeting with your employer and/or person from HR Entretien. You can have a person from the company present with you during the meeting.
  1. During the meeting, if your employer accept the procedure, you will draft the terms and conditions of the termination (notice period, severance package etc)
  1. After you sign, the draft is submitted online to the french administration (DIRECTE) for approval. From there, you have 15 days to recant.
  1. You get an answer within 15 days. If there is no answer after 15 days, it is deemed to be accepted, and you are free to go at the set date.

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