For applicants aiming for jobs in France, even if they are not specifically looking for English speaking jobs, knowledge of the various employment contracts is crucial. In most cases, a broad overview of the various contracts is sufficient. However, a deeper knowledge might play a role to understand the impact of selecting a particular job kind on one's career, and to avoid facing undesired consequences due to the lack of the understanding of the terms and conditions of a particular contract. Proper procedures have to be followed to ensure that none of the laws of contract are broken. In this article, the different aspects of a CDD contract are explained in detail.
To begin with, here is a brief overview of the five types of French employment contracts:
Overview of the French contracts
- CDI : This type of work contract is commonly known as a permanent contract and stands for Contract Durée Indeterminée. This literally translates in English to "Contract with indefinite duration". There is usually a 3 month trial period at the start of the contract
- Contrat temporaire: In a temporary contract, an employment agency is involved. This agency works as a mediator to provide a company with a temporary employee for a pre-defined duration.
- Part-time contract or Contrat de travail à temps partiel: Part-time contracts are, as the name suggests, different from the other contracts in their working hours. They provide flexibility to the employee and as a result, based on his or her situation, the employee may manage more jobs concurrently.
- Le travail intermittent: Intermittent employment is mainly used for seasonal jobs. Often, they are related to industries of seasonal nature such as agriculture and tourism.
- Apprenticeships contract: This is a very beneficial contract, especially for students. Click to read more about apprenticeships in Paris.
- CDD contract: This contract is discussed in detail in the following sections.
CDD stands for Contract Durée Determinée - which literally translates to "contract with a pre-determined duration". This fixed-term contract is a relationship between an employee and an employer that lasts for a pre-specified period. From the perspective of the company, this contract helps to enforce the workforce for the short span of time ,if required. This contract is allowed by law to be renewed twice. Often, a CDD leads to a CDI near its termination, depending on the employee's performance and the company's requirements.
The contract should include the following information, at the minimum:
- Notice period for both the company as well as the hired employee,
- Number of paid holidays granted
- Duration of the contract
- Salary (and bonus, if applicable)
- Location of work
- Working hours pattern
- Collective agreements governing the conditions of employment
- The job title of the hired employee
- Changing terms of the contract of employment
The contract may also include the following information -
- Terms of Employment
- The description of the roles and responsibilities of the hired employee
- Employee Benefits
- Nondisclosure Agreements
- Grounds for Termination
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Rights, advantages and disadvantages
The employee's rights and obligations are identical to those of a person with a CDI. CDD is considered as a prestigious employment contract, second only to the CDI but could be preferred over a CDI based on an individual's career plan.
A CDD can only be used in the following situations:
- Seasonal work
- To replace an existing employee who to compensate for her or his absence due to illness, maternity, holiday, training or parental leave
- In the case of state-funded contracts
- To accommodate temporary increased staffing needs
There are several advantages of a CDD contract :
- No notice period is required by the employer if the employee wishes to terminate the contract prior to the end date (however, it is desired to submit a letter in written)
- A bonus of 10 percent due to the insecurity of employment
- Expansion of skills set and professional experience
- Expansion of professional network often comes along
- As mentioned earlier, the conversion to a full time opportunity (CDI)
As noticeable, CDD is a good way to gain work experience while unsure or unwilling to have a long time obligation. This advantage is similar to an internship but the salary in a CDD contract is comparable to CDI.
Some drawbacks of the CDD contract are:
- No defined salary
- No stability in job
- No allowances are paid during this temporary contract
- Searching for a job again once the contract is over
At the end of the contract the following are to be received without fail
- A receipt of any account balance
- A certificate of employment
- A attestation of Employer
- Last pay slip
- Summary statement of employee savings scheme
- Payment of overtime unless agreed otherwise in the contract
- Bonuses and gratuities if applicable
- Any outstanding salaries normally due
In order to obtain a CDD, the qualifications required are generally higher than those for internships and comparable to those required for CDIs. This is the reason why CDDs often are converted to CDIs and have comparable salaries to CDIs.
In other words, an ideal CDD candidate often already has professional experience in the form of a few internships and is in the transition to long-term jobs.
An employee working under a CDD contract assumes responsibilities that are considerably autonomous - which is again different from internships and more on the lines of permanent employment contracts.
How to prepare
First things first - an application starts with a CV. Next come the motivation letter (at times) and if all goes well, the various rounds of interviews. Showcasing skills in an impressive manner and developing impressive skills to showcase are two requirements of utmost importance in order to get any professional employment and this is not specific to CDD contracts.
- CV comes first - If you are an English speaker, these 10 tips to keep in mind while applying to English jobs in France will be very useful. However, making a professional and flawless CV is a complicated task in itself. In fact, even after intense feedbacks, advice and months of polishing, most CVs are far from perfection. The key to a good CV is an amalgamation of ten crucial aspects. Therefore, to get a CDD, the first step is to polish your CV and tailor it to your target job with as much customization as possible. You can know about the art of making a professionally outstanding CV by reading these CV checking tips.
- Motivation Letter - It is true, and everyone knows it, that a motivation letter might not be read. But what if it is! If a recruiter actually reads your motivation letter, chances are high that it is this recruiter who takes them seriously! Therefore, if you were planning to make a standard motivation letter, now is the time to drop it.
- Prepare for the interviews - A job application procedure is like the human body - all parts are important! It is true that without a good CV one would never reach the interview phase, but once there, interviews are the game changers. Research well about the company and the position and give a thought to what kind of questions might be asked. Working on interpersonal and communication skills is implicitly important.
With all this information, you are ready to polish your profile and apply for your favorite open CDD positions! Click below to check English CDD jobs in the Paris region, to get a CV check or contact us!