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The new apprenticeship probationary period

di Gaëlle Russier
Lingua: EN
Document available also in: FR

Apprenticeships always start with a probationary period whether it be for a permanent contract (in this case, at the start of the apprenticeship period) or temporary contract.

This period is not a “trial” period in its strict sense although the judge can apply the same principles in the event of a breach during this period and there are similarities following the reform (August 17th).

During the probationary period, the employer and apprentice can both terminate their contract without cause by informing the other party of the termination in writing before the end of the period.

Following French legislation (law n° 2015-994 dated August 17th 2015), the duration and planning of the probationary period have been significantly amended (article L. 6222-18, paragraph 1, French Labour Law) resulting in the juxtaposition of two distinct procedures for contracts entered into for 2015’s new “term”.

For contracts entered into before August 19th 2015, the probationary period still lasts two months from the contract start date (not its signature); these two months cover all theory and practice training both in-company and in the training centre.

For contracts entered into from August 19th 2015, the probationary period runs from the first day of the contract execution “to the apprentice’s completion of the first 45 days, whether consecutive or not, of practical training in-company.”

The only days that count in the 45 days are those in which the apprentice physically attends in-company practical training; each day is calculated overall on an individual basis.

For example, if the apprentice is in-company for half a day, it will be counted as a full day and not prorated.

Physical attendance in-company includes when the apprentice is under the legal subordination of the employer without having to be in the company’s actual premises (e.g. construction sites, internal placements, business trips etc.).

In the event of the contract’s suspension affecting the apprentice’s physical presence in-company (inability to work due to illness, authorised days of absence, bank holidays etc.), the calculation of the probationary period is automatically extended by the number of days of absence in a single practical training period.

In any event, determining the end of the probationary period for apprenticeship contracts entered into from August 19th 2015 is subject to each contract based on the start date and especially the training schedule for each apprentice based on their time in-company and in the training centre.



Albert Parisot

Employment Lawyer

Consultancy and Corporate Management Training Firm

September 2015



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