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Notice Periods in Contract Termination

Updated: Jan 30

When finishing an employment contract, the employee and employer have the right to end their job relationship freely. Please review the links included for more detailed information

It is essential submit a written termination letter. If it is send by post, send by registered mail. If the notice letter is handed over in person, a short, written receipt will be the best way of confirmation. The contract will only come into effect once the employee has received the letter.

Be aware of deadlines

If you decide to terminate an employment relationship, the notice period agreed upon in the employment contract must be respected. Unless stated otherwise in your employment contract, the following notice periods apply:

  • during the probation period: seven calendar days

  • during the first year of employment: one month, from the last day of the month (e.g. if employment is terminated on 13 June and the notice period is one month, your contract will end on 31 July)

  • from the second to the ninth year of employment: two months, from the last day of the month

  • from the tenth year of employment onwards: three months, from the last day of the month

A fixed-term contract automatically ends on the agreed date and generally cannot be terminated in advance except in serious cases or if the contract provides for this possibility. Employer and employee can end a fixed-term contract early, however, as long as this is done by mutual agreement in accordance to the law. In the case of open-ended contracts, notice must be given.

Protection from Termination

Once the probation period has been completed, employers cannot fire employees who are unable to work due to illness or accident. Employees receive temporary protection from termination during this time, specifically:

  • 30 days in the 1st year of work

  • 90 days from the 2nd through 5th year

  • 180 days starting in the 6th year

The same protections apply during pregnancy and for 16 weeks after giving birth. You can find further information on the web page about the protection of pregnant women and mothers in the workplace.

Holidays during the notice period

The employee should generally be allowed to use any remaining holiday time during the notice period. The employer may be permitted to deny the employee's request in exceptional business-related circumstances.

If this happens, both parties have agreed the remaining holiday time is paid out.

The employer must always wait until the employee has returned to work before informing them of their dismissal.

It is important to note, however, that employees are permitted to terminate their employment contracts during these periods of protection.

If you use, chèques-emploi, to declare your employees' salaries, notify them of the contract termination as promptly as possible."

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out, and we'll be glad to assist you.

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