CHHUM AVOCATS (Paris, Nantes, Lille) - French Labour law – Prescription of the contractual termination indemnity (indemnité spécifique de rupture conventionnelle) : 12 months to act (cass. soc.  November 20th, 2019) !


1) The solution adopted by the Court of Cassation

For judges of the Court of Cassation, the period of one year provided for in Article L. 1237-14 of the Labor Code is applicable in this case.

Thus, the Industrial Court should have been seized "before the expiration of a period of twelve months from the date of approval of the agreement", the order made in May 2014 having ended the interruption of proceedings.

2) For the record, the contractual termination is not a transaction

For all practical purposes, and as this judgment gives an example in which industrial tribunal action was taken following the conclusion of a contractual breach, it should be recalled that this same signature, by the employee, of such a breach, does not constitute a waiver of legal action. Indeed, this widespread idea is false.

In addition to the withdrawal period which is granted to him by the Labor Code and which precedes the approval period from which DIRECCTE benefits, the employee may assert his rights before a Labor Council. Indeed, it is possible to make requests relating to the performance of the employment contract, whether it be acts of psychological harassment or overtime, for example.

However, the case law of the Court of Cassation is very restrictive when it comes to challenging the breakup. Legal proceedings will be opened in very limited cases, such as in the event of a defect in consent.

The answer is obviously different when a transaction has been signed in addition; in fact, the transaction entails a definitive renunciation of any action before the courts.

To read the all Article, please click on the link below


  1. Cass., Soc., 20 November 2019, n ° 18-10499:

  1. L. 1471-1, Code du travail (anc.): Https://;jsessionid=85A31E20B7D6F27C8DF32EB6E022BE3B.tplgfr29s_1?idArticle=LEGIARTI000027550105&cidText=2020

  1. L. 3245-1, Labor code:

Frédéric CHHUM avocat et membre du conseil de l’ordre des avocats de Paris (mandat 2019-2021)
CHHUM AVOCATS (Paris, Nantes, Lille)
.Paris: 4 rue Bayard 75008 Paris tel: 0142560300
.Nantes: 41, Quai de la Fosse 44000 Nantes tel: 0228442644
.Lille: 25, rue Gounod 59000 Lille tel: 0320135083


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