Alain-Christian Monkam, UK employment solicitor and French Avocat, sets out the different approaches to atypical workers in France and the UK.Millions of workers are employed under temporary or part-time contracts in France and in the UK; however, the French laws try to limit the recourse to these contracts.
Atypical workers in France and the UKInternational manual: France - employee rights UK employment law manual: Atypical workers Guide for global employers
Fixed-term employeesA fixed-term employee is appointed under a contract that has a definite start and end date, or terminates automatically after the completion of a particular task or the occurrence of a specific event. In France, the employee’s best chance to get a permanent contract in a company is first to get a fixed-term contract (contrat à durée déterminée – CDD); eight out of 10 French employees are recruited via a fixed-term contract first. Employees on CDDs have the protection of being entitled to equal treatment with permanent employees. In addition to this, the French rules as to these temporary contracts are stringent:
- There are only a few statutory situations where an employer is allowed to use a fixed-term contract (namely absence cover, seasonal tasks and temporary increase in the employer's activity).
- The employer must comply with a strict formality as to the written particulars of the contract.
- Except for some cases (for example a CDD to cover an absence), a fixed-term contract can be renewed only once for the same position. If the employer wishes to sign a second CDD after the completion of the first CDD (renewal included) for the same position, i