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I am currently working full-time at a tech company in Paris and I am planning to relocate to London. I am in contact with some companies and shortly I will be accepting invitations to on-site interview.

Paris-London is just an hour flight, so I will only need to take Fridays off to attend the interviews. However, my manager at my current job is relatively strict when it comes to taking days-off and I wonder how am I going to have all these on-site interviews - which I imagine will be more than five.

The last thing I want is to have a fight with my manager just a day before my interviews and put an extra burden in my mind.

Is it an option to just inform the management about my intention to leave the company and make the whole process more transparent? Can they fire me in such case?

  • Yes I have plenty, but they may not let me use it - for example if I have to interview twice a month on Fridays. My main concern is whether I will make this process transparent (this will probably allow me to take my days-off whenever I want but can they fire me if I say so?) or not. – Mike Jul 9 '15 at 10:49
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    What do you mean by "they may not let me take it"? Technically vacation time is yours to use as you want. What is the process? – Hilmar Jul 9 '15 at 11:53
  • Just to comfort you, you cannot be fired on the spot in France with standard CDI contracts, unless you do a professional mistake. If they want to fire you, the employer must notify you 1 month early (2 month if you have been in the company 2 years or more) and you will be fully paid during that duration. Note also that you are supposed to notify your employer between 1 and 3 months before leaving your job (this duration changes from company to company) – Aserre Jul 9 '15 at 12:53
  • @Hilmar I don't know about other parts of the world, but it is fairly frequent for some companies in France to reject vacation time if the employee asks for a period where there is a business need / the employee can not be replaced. This is not so trivial to address and can be tied to legal and/or company specific regulations – Aserre Jul 9 '15 at 13:11
  • To add to what Ploutox said, it's actually even more difficult to fire someone with a CDD and in that case taking time off for interviews (not vacation days) is a legal right. The main leverage companies have is of course the threat of not renewing the contract but if you are leaving anyway, that's moot. – Relaxed Oct 22 '15 at 18:57
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The best way to do this is just to tell them the truth. You want to change jobs, but not because you dislike the company or the tasks you are given but for geographic reasons.

As a French person i can tell you employment here is the opposite to "at will" employment, and it is rather hard to fire someone. Bosses often have a hard time firing incompetent people, even with proof, so a guy that just expresses the desire to leave is very far from being fired here.

Just tell your boss about it. If he does not understand it is another matter, but you can't be fired. Thing is he might not let you take your days off, what you can do if you are in a big company is ask HR what the policies are concerning unpaid days off called "sans solde". You might be able to take these days off without your boss agreement at the cost of not being paid for them.

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You would need to consult a lawyer to check if they could actually fire you for interviewing with another job. A quick search seems to suggest that it is quite complex to actually fire someone in France so you might find the main negative about being upfront is:

Some managers with problem employees simply "put them in the cupboard," as the French saying goes, which usually means moving them out of the way and leaving them alone in hopes that they eventually quit.

If you don't find a job quickly, you might find that your boss takes this approach, leaving you stuck in a quite unhappy situation. I would personally suggest you organise your interviews, put in your leave request and argue it out with your boss if he doesn't want to grant your request.

  • Thank you for your answer. Why would I care about getting in the cupboard if I'm planning to leave soon (around 3-4 months period)? On the other hand getting fired is unpredictable and it leaves you without a salary in a foreign country - I'm not from France either. – Mike Jul 9 '15 at 11:56
  • I think telling your employer you're leaving is a more likely track to unemployment than asking to use your annual leave for unspecified reasons. What if you aren't successful in your interviews and end up staying longer than you desire? Your name would probably be very near the top of the redundancy list and at the very bottom of the list for anything good. Even if you're going after four months regardless of if you find work, I wouldn't enjoy being left to sit on my hands for four months. – Dustybin80 Jul 9 '15 at 12:28

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