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France: Successions of fixed-term contracts : be cautious of the waiting period between each contract

Under penalty of re-characterization of the fixed-term contract (CDD) as an indefinite term contract (CDI), usually accompanied by a claim for damages for an abusive breach, employers must allow for a period of interruption between each contract signed for the same purpose. The Labor Code provides for certain contract uses that allow to forgo the waiting period. For example, in the case of a contract for the replacement of an employee who is absent or whose contract is suspended, or when it is “customary” or for a seasonal job. The temporary increase in activity, which is a reason allowed for using a fixed-term contract, is not mentioned. Therefore, a succession of CDD, without waiting period, is lawful, “for the same employee and the same position”, if each contract was concluded for one of the reasons provided for in the aforementioned text.