The Cradle Theatre

Employment Protection and Temporary Workers in France

Written on March 28, 2024   By   in Blog

Although France is known for having more employment protection than many other European countries, it has also experienced a gradual erosion of its post-war labour model and has become increasingly dependent on short contracts. A new article by Emmanuel Lechevre and France Strategie examines how the use of temporary contracts has been rising and how the labour market is becoming segmented between people with permanent contract (Contrat à une durée indéterminée or CDI) and those who work on fixed-term or other shorter contracts.

EuWorkers segmentation has major consequences for the professional career of workers on temporary contracts: They tend to stay on temporary contracts and have difficulty obtaining an open-ended contract, and receive less on-the-job training. In addition, they are more likely to be the adjustment variable in case of a negative economic shock.

In contrast, those with permanent jobs enjoy higher levels of protection and find it easier to transition to a different job. These trends have important implications for the economy and society as a whole.

Navigating the Temporary Workforce: Understanding the Landscape in France

While most of the analyzed jobs are still held by shopkeepers, carpenters, butchers and bakers, woodworkers and executives and workers in construction, more and more jobs are now occupied by professionals on a CDD or other temporary contract. Some of them are employed by large temping agencies, and their contract is regulated by French law. The contrat de travail temporaire is a three-way contract between the employee, employer and temping agency and will last only as long as the specific task the person has been hired for. When it ends, the person is entitled to an end-of-contract indemnity, known as the “precariousness bonus”.

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