Labor law in the private sector: what is force majeure?

Verified 30 May 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Force majeure is an event that fills the 3 features following:

  1. He is unpredictable
  2. He is irresistible (insurmountable)
  3. He is beyond the control of the persons concerned

A natural disaster, an exceptional climatic event are cases of force majeure, if these unpredictable situations are beyond the control of the person and are by nature unavoidable.

The death of the employee constitutes for the employment contract a case of breakdown for force majeure.

In winter, ice and snowfall are foreseeable events and do not constitute force majeure.

Nor is the incarceration of the employee a case of force majeure.

In the event of a dispute, the courts decide whether the event is force majeure.


the death of the employer is not a case of force majeure.