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Is the employment contract necessarily written?

Verified 16 October 2019 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The following contracts must be written:

If the contract is not written when it should be, the employee is presumed to be a full-time permanent employee.

The requalification the contract (i.e. its transformation) into a full-time permanent can be activated by the prud'homme council (CPH) at the request of the employee.

If the employer did not write a letter when it should have, it risks €1,500 a fine for a part-time or intermittent contract. It also risks €3,750 (€7,500 in case of recidivism) if he uses CDD or temporary work without a written contract.

No writing is required for a CDI full-time, unless provided for in a collective agreement.

However, in the absence of a mandatory written statement, the employer must provide the employee with a copy of the Pre-Hiring Notification (EPAD)..

In practice, and in particular to prevent conflict, the signing of a contract is always preferable.


the written contract must be in french. Foreign employees may request the translation of their contract into their language of origin.