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French Guiana

Termination and Severance Policies

Learn about the legal processes for employee termination and severance in French Guiana

Notice period

In French Guiana, an overseas department of France, the notice period requirements during employment termination are governed by the French Labour Code (Code du travail). The length of the notice period an employee receives is contingent on their seniority within the company.

Minimum Notice Periods

For employees who have been with the company for less than six months, the notice period is determined by collective bargaining agreements or company practices. The French Labour Code does not specify a set minimum for this category.

Employees who have been with the company for a period ranging from six months to two years are entitled to a notice period of one month.

For those who have been with the company for more than two years, the notice period extends to two months.

Exceptions to Notice Periods

In instances of serious misconduct by the employee, the employer may not be required to provide a notice period. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Considerations for Notice Periods

It's important to note that collective bargaining agreements or individual employment contracts can supersede the minimum notice periods mentioned above. These agreements may stipulate a longer notice period for the benefit of the employee.

Severance pay

In French Guiana, severance pay, also known as indemnité de licenciement, is a legal entitlement for employees who are dismissed under certain conditions.


For an employee to qualify for severance pay, they must have completed at least eight months of continuous service with the employer. Additionally, the termination of their employment should not be due to serious misconduct on their part.

Calculation of Severance Pay

The calculation of severance pay is based on two key factors: the employee's length of service and their average monthly salary.

Length of Service

For the first 10 years of service, the employee is entitled to at least 1/5 of a month's salary for each year of service. After 10 years, the employee is entitled to at least 1/5 of a month's salary, plus an additional 2/15 of a month's salary for each year beyond the initial 10 years.

Average Monthly Salary

The average monthly salary includes the gross salary before deductions, as well as any bonuses or benefits received during the 12 months preceding the termination.


For instance, an employee who is dismissed after 15 years of service, with an average monthly salary of €3,000, would be entitled to a severance pay of €8,000. This is calculated as follows: for the first ten years, (1/5 * €3,000 * 10) = €6,000. For the additional five years, (2/15 * €3,000 * 5) = €2,000. The total severance pay is therefore €8,000.

Important Note

It's worth noting that collective bargaining agreements or individual employment contracts may provide for more generous severance pay benefits beyond the legal minimums outlined above.

Termination process

The termination process for employees in French Guiana is governed by the French Labor Code (Code du travail), which outlines strict procedures to ensure fairness and protect employee rights.

Types of Termination

There are three main types of termination:

  • Termination for personal reasons: This refers to dismissal due to reasons related to the employee's performance, conduct, or economic difficulties faced by the company.
  • Termination for serious misconduct: This involves immediate dismissal without a notice period in cases of severe misconduct by the employee.
  • Mutual agreement (rupture conventionnelle): A negotiated termination where the employer and employee agree on the terms of departure.

Termination for Personal Reasons

The process for termination for personal reasons involves three steps:

  1. Preliminary interview (entretien préalable): The employer must summon the employee to a preliminary interview stating the reasons for potential dismissal.
  2. Notification Letter: If the employer decides to proceed, a formal dismissal letter is sent by registered mail, outlining the grounds for termination.
  3. Dismissal Interview: The employer holds a final dismissal interview with the employee. During this interview, the employee has the right to be assisted by a representative.

Termination for Serious Misconduct

In cases of termination for serious misconduct, there's no preliminary interview required. The employer can immediately dismiss the employee, explaining the cause for termination in the notification letter.

Mutual Agreement (Rupture Conventionnelle)

The process for mutual agreement termination involves two steps:

  1. Agreement process: The employer and employee negotiate the terms of termination. They sign an agreement (convention de rupture).
  2. Homologation: The agreement is then submitted to the Labour Inspectorate (DIRECCTE) for approval to ensure it complies with legal requirements.

Important Considerations

Employers must meticulously document all steps of the termination process. Employees have the right to challenge a dismissal in the labor court (Conseil de Prud'hommes).

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