In France, some clauses are illegal in employment contracts. What are they?

Illegal employment contracts in France

The employment contract is what defines the relationship between employer and employee. And of course, there are some clauses that can’t appear on employment contracts.

  • Clauses that infringe on civil liberties
    For example, restricting the right to go on strike, the right to get married, or the right to choose a union is illegal.
  • Discriminatory clauses
    Among other things, this prevents an employer from paying women less because of their gender.
  • Salary indexation clauses
    This is a fancy way of saying that wages can’t depend on anything other than the work itself. For instance, it’s illegal to have the salary depend on inflation.
  • Clauses on penalties
    you can’t have a clause that would force an employee to pay a fine on certain conditions.
  • Clauses on the Employer’s contribution
    The employer’s contribution is a social tax that the employer must pay. As a result, it’s illegal to deduct it from the employee’s salary.
  • Clauses that define an entity that will deal with conflicts
    If there’s ever conflict between the employer and the employee, the only entity that can resolve it is the “Prud’hommes”. You can’t define another entity in contracts.
  • Contract modifying clauses
    As you might expect, a clause that would allow the employer to modify the employment contract without the agreement of the employee is illegal.
  • Clauses that define dismissal motives
    It is difficult to fire employees without a proper motive in France. These motives can only be appreciated by a judge, so a clause that would define a dismissal motive ahead of time is illegal.
  • Retiring clauses
    As you might expect, the employee is the only one who can decide when and how to retire, and you can’t define that in the employment contract.