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How do I get into the private sector on a part-time basis?

Verified 13 September 2021 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

If you are working full-time (on a permanent contract or a permanent contract) and want to work part-time, you must apply to your employer. The conditions differ depending on whether or not a convention is applied in the company.

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A collective agreement or a company or establishment agreement shall lay down the conditions

A collective agreement or company agreement or of establishment may lay down the conditions for setting up part-time working hours.

In this case, the following conditions shall be provided:

  • Procedure for applying to the employer for a full-time employee wishing to work part-time
  • Time allowed for the employer to reply, in particular in the event of refusal

If you want to work part-time, you have priority for one of the following jobs:

  • Employment of the same occupational category or equivalent
  • Employment with different characteristics if the company agreement or agreement so provides

The employer must bring to your attention the list of the corresponding jobs available.

There is no convention or agreement

In the absence of an agreement or agreement, you send your request to your employer by any means that can justify the date of the request (letter or registered e-mail, for example).

You indicate the desired duration of work and the proposed date for the implementation of the new schedule.

Your request is addressed at least 6 months before the planned implementation date of the new schedule.

Your employer must respond within 3 months which follow your request, by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

The employer accepts or rejects your proposal.

The consequences for the employee's employment contract are as follows:

Employer's agreement

You go part-time with the agreement of your employer.

You sign a agreeable to your employment contract.

Refusal of the employer

The employer may refuse your request, subject to the terms of the collective agreement or agreement applicable in the company.

In this case, the employer must justify its refusal on one of the following grounds:

  • There is either no job available in your occupational category or an equivalent job (for example, if a part-time position is available at the employee's home, the employer is entitled to refuse to allow an executive to take the position back)
  • Either the change your job requested does not correspond to the proper functioning of the company


you can also benefit, under conditions, from an annualized part-time for family reasons, or a reduction in working time for creating or resuming a company or part-time parental leave.

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