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The trial period allows you to evaluate the employee’s skills in their work before hiring them. We can sometimes even renew it. But can we put an end to it without justification?

Yes, in principle
As the rules of dismissal are not applicable to termination of the trial period, the employer can, in principle, end it without having to justify a real and serious cause. However, the employer must check that the collective agreement does not provide for specific clauses for terminating a trial period. Any termination that occurs outside of these clauses would be considered unfair.
No particular formality is provided for terminating a trial period, and the employer can therefore warn his employee verbally or in writing. However, it is strongly recommended to keep a written record. Furthermore, he must do so explicitly and clearly express to his employee the end of the trial period.In the event that the employer invokes a disciplinary reason, he must respect the disciplinary procedure.

Is there a notice period required?
Yes, the employer must respect a notice period when ending an employee’s trial period. Thus, in the event of a termination at the initiative of the employer, the employee benefits from a notice period of 24 hours for less than 8 days of presence; 48 hours of notice between 8 days and 1 month of presence; and one month’s notice after 3 months of presence. These deadlines also apply in the context of a fixed-term contract if the trial period goes beyond 8 days. Collective agreements sometimes provide for longer notice periods. They must be respected. In the context of a termination for disciplinary reasons, the rules of the disciplinary procedure must apply.

What precautions should you take?
The trial period must have served to properly assess the employee’s skills, otherwise the termination of the trial period may be considered abusive. Likewise, when ending a trial period, attention must be paid to discriminatory reasons such as illness or pregnancy: for example, if an employee fell ill during the trial period, he Care must be taken to ensure that the real reason for terminating the trial period is not linked to their state of health. If the employee is protected, the termination must be previously authorized by the labor inspector. In the event of the employee’s incapacity, a reclassification search procedure must be initiated and the employee dismissed for incapacity.

The risks incurred in the event of abuse
A termination of a trial period based on discriminatory reasons or for non-compliance with a protective status may result in industrial tribunal action. The employee can seek damages for the harm suffered if the judges consider that the termination occurred under abusive conditions of haste or culpable carelessness. If the reason is deemed discriminatory, the termination will be considered void, and the employee will be reinstated to his or her original position. The employer must pay all remuneration due between the date of termination of the employment contract and the date of the employee’s reintegration into the company. 

DAMY Law Firm .