Working in other countries : the applicable work law

The international employment contract

When an employee is sent abroad, we speak of an international employment contract ; this one is not defined in the French labour code.

The form of the contract

An employee can either be specially hired to work abroad or already work for a company that decides to send him/her abroad.

If you are sent abroad by your company, after having worked for it in France, it is a modification of your employment contract that must be specified in writing. This type of document is called an "amendment" to the employment contract. The following developments concerning the employment contract apply in the same way to the amendment to the contract.

When the employee is hired specifically to work abroad, a special employment contract is concluded. It can be for a fixed period (24 months maximum) or indefinitely.

The drafting of the international employment contract

In the European Union (EU), the employer must comply with certain obligations in accordance with EEC Directive 91-533 of 14/10/1991.

Article 4 of this directive deals with the "expatriate worker" in the EU. It stipulates that before leaving, the employee must be in possession of a written document (employment contract, letter of engagement, or even written declaration signed by the employer) containing the essential information of the contract or employment relationship :

This information may also be added to :


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