The termination in the French Payroll.

In France there are 2 main types of termination.

One is the agreed termination called “Rupture conventionnelle” the second one is the classic termination.

Agreed termination

This termination is an agreement between the employer and the employee. The process is simpler than the basic termination one and avoid any notice period.

The process

The process is simple:

  1. The employer or the employee request to termination from the other party.
  2. The 2 parties meet (sever times if needed) and agree on the terms of the termination.
  3. The 2 parties sign the official termination document. This document is provided by the administration.
  4. Once the document is signed, both parties have 15 calendar days to change their mind.
  5. Once the 15 calendar days are past, the company sends the official document to the administration. The administration then has 15 workable days to refuse the agreement.
  6. Once this delay is past the employment contract can be terminated.

The cost

The cost of this termination is the cost of the legal (or conventional) termination indemnity.

Legal cost is ¼ of the average gross salary per year of seniority.

Collective bargaining agreement can state a higher indemnity.

Termination payroll

Classic termination

The basic termination process is also called the termination with cause. It is more complex and subject to court judgment than the agreed termination.

The process

The process his more complex and imply more delays than the one for the agreed termination.

  1. The employer invites the employee to an interview to discuss the termination.

The invitation must be sent by registered letter. It must include

  1. the subject of the interview.
  2. The place date and time of the interview.
  3. The possibility for the employee to be assisted and the place where he can find this assistance.

The interview must take place at least 5 days after the registered letter is first presented to the employee’s contact address.

  • The interview takes place

During the interview, the employer explains the reason for the termination and hear the employee’s explanations.

  • If the employer doesn’t change his mind, he sends the termination letter.

The employer must wait at least 2 workable days after the interview to send the termination letter.

The termination letter must include all the employer’s motive for the termination.

With 15 days after receiving the termination letter, the employee can ask for additional explanation from the employer. This request must be done by registered letter.

The employer then has 15 days to answer the employee by registered letter.

  • The employee’s notice period starts the day after receiving the termination letter.
  • The end of the notice period is the last day of employment.

The cost

Except in case of misconduct, the cost of the termination is the payment of the legal or conventional termination indemnity.

Legal cost is ¼ of the average gross salary per year of seniority.

Collective bargaining agreement can state a higher indemnity.


The cause of the termination must be a legal one. The employer must keep every proof the cause should the employee complain to the court of unlawful termination.

This is the reason why French Payroll Expert always recommends seeking the advice of a lawyer in case a classic termination.


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