What is a defined purpose contract (or assignment contract) for a private sector employee?

Verified 10 April 2024 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The purpose-defined contract (or assignment contract) is an employment contract which has the particular feature of terminating when the assignment for which it has been concluded ends. This CSD: titleContent is reserved for the recruitment of engineers and executives. Special conditions apply for this specific CDD. We'll give you the information you need to remember.

The CDD with a defined purpose (or CDD of assignment) is an employment contract that takes fine-minded the performance of the object or task for which it was concluded.

The temporary increase in activity in the company is not a case of recourse to the CDD with a defined purpose (or mission CDD).

The purpose-defined CDD (or assignment CDD) must be provided by a extended branch agreement or by a company of company agreement.

The agreement shall specify:

  • The economic needs to which the purpose-defined CSD (or mission CSD) can provide an appropriate response
  • The conditions under which the employee on a fixed-purpose contract (or assignment contract) is guaranteed
  • The conditions under which the employee may, during the advance notice period (before the end date of the CDD), mobilize the means available to organize the continuation of his professional career
  • The conditions under which employees on fixed-term contracts (or assignment contracts) have priority access to jobs in DTA: titleContent in the company

Please note

The CDD with a defined object (or mission CDD) is reserved exclusively private sector employees.

The CDD with a defined object (or mission CDD) is reserved exclusively the recruitment of engineers and managers, within the meaning of collective agreements.

The purpose-defined CDD (or assignment CDD) is established by written.

It includes the mandatory clauses for traditional CSDs.

The contract must obligatory specify the following information:

  • Mention fixed-term contract with a defined purpose
  • Title and references of the collective agreement establishing the contract
  • Description of the project at the origin of the contract, expected duration, definition of the corresponding tasks
  • Objective event or result determining termination of the contract
  • Deadline for anticipating the arrival of the end of the contract or the continuation of the employment relationship on a permanent contract
  • Mention of the possibility of termination of the contract by the employer or the employee, for a real and serious reason, on the anniversary date of its conclusion
  • Mention of the right of the employee to compensation equal to 10% of his gross total remuneration, in the event of breach of contract by the employer.

The trial period is not mandatory.

However, the employee must take a probationary period if it is provided for in his contract of employment or his letter of commitment.

If the employee's CDD does not include a precise term, a duration minimal the probationary period must be provided for in the employment contract.

The duration of the trial period is then calculated based on this minimum duration.

The trial period, whether expressed in days, weeks or months, shall be counted in such a way that calendar (except treaty provisions or contractual).

The trial period starts on 1er working day. It can't be staggered.

The calculation shall be made in the same way if the employee works full-time or part-time.


Unlike the probationary period of a CDI, it is not possible to renew the probationary period of a CDD, even in the case of an agreement between the employee and the employer.

The employee shall be entitled to the following guarantees:

Expected Contract End Date

In this case, a period must be respected between the decision to terminate the relevant fixed-term contract (or assignment fixed-term contract) and the end of the actual date of the employment contract.

This period is referred to as consideration is fixed at least 2 months.

Early rupture

The purpose-defined CDD (or assignment CDD) may be terminated at the initiative of the employer or employee.

The CDD must be broken for a real and serious reason (i.e. based on objective, verifiable facts and not on subjective impression or judgment) under the following conditions:

  • Either 18 months after its conclusion (i.e. at the end of the minimum period)
  • Either every year at anniversary date the conclusion of the contract (therefore 24 months after its conclusion)
  • Or in the case of gross negligence, of force majeure or unfit established by the occupational doctor.

Please note

An employer may not terminate a fixed-term contract (or assignment contract) before the completion of the contract for which it was entered into. An abusive early termination by the employer entitles the employee (in addition to the termination indemnity) to damages an amount at least equal to the remuneration he would have received until the end of his employment contract.

At the end of the contract, the employee is entitled to an indemnity equal to 10% of its gross total remuneration.

Compensation shall not be payable if the fixed-purpose fixed-term contract continues with a fixed-term contract.

Compensation remains due to the employee when the early termination is at the employer's initiative. If the employee decides to terminate the contract, the compensation is not due.

Please note

Termination pay or precarious work allowance is a supplement to salary. As such, it is subject to the social contributions, in the same way as the employee's main remuneration. Compensation is also taken into account in the calculation of employers' contributions.

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