MGG Legal formerly MGG Voltaire LAwyers

Mutually agreed termination (“rupture conventionnelle”) : the termination agreement can be signed on the same day as the meeting

Under French law, the mutually agreed termination (“MTA”) of an employment contract allows for an amicable termination, to which both parties consent. There must first be at least one meeting during which the parties agree on the principle of the termination. It is then formalized by the signature of a written agreement. The French Labor code does not stipulate a minimum colling-off period between these two steps.

In a recent case heard by the French Supreme Court, an employee had signed an MTA with the employer immediately following a single meeting on the same day. This meeting set out the practical details of the termination, such as the date and the amount of the compensation to be paid to the employee. Subsequently, the MTA was endorsed by the Labour authorities.

Despite the absence of a specific colling-off period between the meeting and the agreement’s signature, the employee argued that signing the agreement on the same day had the effect of “depriving her of the requirement for a prior meeting of any meaning”. This led her to challenge the MTA’s validity before the Employment Tribunal, claiming a procedural failure.

The French Supreme Court stressed that the meeting, although held on the same day, had taken place “prior to the signing of the MTA, which is a condition of its validity”. Thus, the French Supreme Court held that the termination agreement could indeed be signed on the same day as the meeting.

French Supreme Court, 13 March, 2024 n°22-10.551