Estimated reading time (in minutes)

Fixed Term Contract and Replacement of an Absent Employee

In this case, an employee hired on a fixed-term contract (CDD) to replace an absent employee seized the industrial tribunal with a request for requalification as a permanent contract (CDI).

It should be remembered that when a CDD is concluded for the replacement of an absent employee, the contract must specify the name and professional qualification of the person replaced ( C. Trav. art. L. 1242-12 ). Otherwise, the contract is deemed to have been concluded for an indefinite period.

The Court of Appeal rejected the employee’s request based on the fact that the employer had mentioned the name of the person replaced as well as his qualification as a photographer in the fixed-term contracts, thus satisfying the legal requirements. The Court of Cassation censured this analysis. According to her, the mention of the job of photographer of the replaced employee did not make it possible to know his precise qualification.

The Court of Cassation here confirms well-established case law which requires the mention of the professional qualification when the CDD is concluded for the replacement of an absent employee. It also invites us not to confuse the job occupied with the professional qualification.

Distinction between Employment and Professional Qualification

The distinction between a job and a professional qualification is an important aspect of labor law. While a job refers to the specific position or role held by an employee, professional qualification relates to the specific skills, education or certifications needed to perform that job effectively. The decision of the Court of Cassation of October 23, 2013 underlined the importance of distinguishing between the two. The Court pointed out that the mere mention of the job title of the absent employee in a fixed-term contract does not make it possible to determine his precise professional qualification. Therefore,

The decision of the Court of Cassation of October 23, 2013 highlights the need for employers to identify and specify precisely the professional qualifications of employees in employment contracts. She stresses the importance of recognizing that a simple job title does not necessarily provide a complete understanding of an employee’s professional abilities and qualifications.