France: Constructive unfair dismissal: impact of the employer’s breach

21 November 2014

In two consecutive rulings the French Supreme Court has stated that in order to justify constructive dismissal the employer's breach alleged must prevent the continuation of the employment contract.

In rulings dated 26 March 2014 and 12 June 2014, the French Supreme Court has restricted the possibility to justify claims for constructive dismissal to those cases in which the alleged employer’s material breach prevents the continuation of the employment.

Therefore, employees willing to claim constructive dismissal must have left the company not long after the alleged breach.

Also, please note that pursuant to a recent law dated 1 July 2014, legal actions from employees claiming constructive dismissal are now heard on the merits within one without any prior conciliation hearing. The procedure is therefore quicker, which means that employers must get ready to build a defence in a one-month time.

This article is part of the Southern Europe Employment Law Update for December 2014