How to break a work-study contract?

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The alternation consists of following a theoretical training in an organization, and putting these theories into practice within a company. This system allows you to learn, while integrating into the life of the company and receiving a salary. There are two options for work-study contracts: the professionalization contract and the apprenticeship contract. Alternation is beneficial to both the employer and the employee, but bad situations can sometimes arise. Are you wondering if it is possible to break a work-study contract? Depending on the case, find out what your options are.

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Breaking a professionalization contract

Training under a professionalization contract allows the employee to obtain a certificate of professional qualification. It also allows you to have a professional title registered in the RNCP. At the end of the training, the employee can also acquire a qualification recognized in the classifications of a national collective agreement.

The professionalization contract can be concluded for a limited period. In this case, the duration is between 6 and 12 months. In certain circumstances, this period can be extended to 36 months.

The professionalization contract can be carried out for an indefinite period. This is the period known as the professionalization action, which will be alternating between practical work in a company and courses in a specialized school such as INSEEC. It is from 12 to 24 months. After this period, the work continues under an indefinite contract according to private law.

The terms and conditions for terminating a professionalization contract therefore differ depending on the nature of the contract.

Termination of a professionalization contract concluded under a fixed-term contract

For a work-study contract, there may be a trial period. The duration of the trial period is 1 month, if the contract is longer than 6 months. On the other hand, it should not exceed 2 weeks if the contract is less than 6 months. The trial period cannot be renewed. During this period, the contract may be terminated without notice.

In the event of a breach of contract, the company is required to inform the OPCO and the DREETS, 30 days following the termination. After the trial period, an employee on a fixed-term contract cannot resign, except in the case of a permanent contract.

Termination of an open-ended professionalization contract

The trial period is mandatory for work-study contracts. For the professionalization contract under permanent contract, the trial period is renewable. Thus, if the employee wants to break the contract during the trial period, he is required to give notice. The latter is 24 hours if the seniority is less than 8 days. It is a minimum of 48 hours, if the seniority is more than 8 days.

Outside the trial period, the employee can always resign by respecting the notice period. The employer may also make a dismissal for cause. The two parties can also terminate the contracts, following a common agreement: this is the conventional rupture.

Termination of the professionalization contract at the employer’s initiative

The work-study contract may be terminated by the employer. If the employer wants to terminate the contract with an employee undergoing professionalization, the terms and conditions for terminating the contract are :

  • termination procedure or negotiated departure in case of permanent contract ;
  • a homologated conventional rupture in permanent employment;
  • in case of force majeure in permanent and fixed-term contracts;
  • termination of the contract due to serious misconduct on a fixed-term contract;
  • termination of the contract by common agreement for fixed-term and permanent contracts.

The employer is required to provide the following notice periods:

  • 24 hours if the seniority is less than 8 days;
  • 48 hours minimum if seniority is between 1 week and 1 month;
  • 2 weeks, if the seniority varies between 1 and 3 months;
  • 1 month minimum, if seniority is more than 3 months.

Breach of the apprenticeship contract

The apprenticeship contract is an employment contract signed between a company and an apprentice. It is done in alternation. It allows the student to obtain a State diploma or a title recognized in the National Directory of Professional Certifications (RNCP).

Like any employment contract, the work-study contract can be broken. In the case of an apprenticeship contract, the terms and conditions for terminating the contract differ depending on whether the apprentice is in the trial period or not.

Breach of the apprenticeship contract during the trial period

An apprenticeship contract may be terminated by either the employer or the apprentice within the first 45 days of the trial period.
During this period, it is possible to terminate the contract without justification or notice. But the termination must be done through a written notification.

Breaking the apprenticeship contract after the trial period

After the first 45 days of practical training, the termination of the apprenticeship contract must respect the rules of the labor code.
Thus, it can only intervene in the 4 following cases:

  • termination of the contract by mutual agreement between the employer and the apprentice;
  • resignation of the apprentice ;
  • dismissal of the apprentice by the employer ;
  • acquisition of the diploma.

In any case, as soon as a conflict situation arises in a company, it is vital to inform the school’s corporate relations department. These education and employment law professionals will help you find the best possible exit under the right conditions so as not to damage your professional reputation and that of the school.To learn more about support and financing, do not hesitate to consult our FAQ page.

Updated 2 August 2023