The termination of fixed term and temporary employment contracts

Termination of contract by right

  • On expiry at the end of the term
  • When the object of the contract and thus the specific, non-permanent task for which it was entered into has been completed

=> The Law does not require written documentation or other formalities to draw the attention of the employee to the termination of the contract in advance (inadvisable as it will be used in court).

N.B: Neither illness nor pregnancy can impede the end of the contract

Other cases of termination of employment contracts

General Principle

Fixed term and temporary contracts cannot be terminated by giving a notice period.

Such contracts may, however, be terminated:

  • During the trial period with a period of notice (quasi-discretionary termination)
  • Termination with immediate effect is possible where there are serious grounds due to the actions of the employer or the employee: any action or fault making continuation of the working relationship impossible shall constitute serious grounds justifying immediate termination of the contract
  • By mutual agreement between the parties
  • Closure of the employer’s business
  • Death of the employee
  • If the employee becomes eligible for an old age or a disability pension
  • If the employee's rights to financial compensation for illness run out
  • In the event of external reclassification


Unlawful termination of fixed-term contract or temporary contract of employment

If the termination of the contract by one of the parties before the term set by a fixed term contract is not justified by serious grounds, the action of the other party, or that party's consent, such termination shall constitute a breach of contract and shall rise to a sentence.

Early termination of the job by the employer or contractor

In the event of early termination by the employer, the amount of damages shall correspond to the salary the employee would have received up to the term of the contract.

The ceiling on damages is equal to the payment corresponding to the notice period which would have been given if the contract had been entered into on an open-ended basis (i.e. 2 months’ salary).

Early termination by the employee or temporary worker

In the event of early termination by the worker, the employer shall be entitled to damages if it can be proved that a loss has been caused.

The ceiling on the damages is equal to the payment for the period of notice which would have been observed if the contract had been entered into on an open-ended basis (1 month).


Anne-Sophie Comazzi