The work certificate indicates the dates of entry and exit of the employee in the company as well as the jobs successively occupied.
The Pôle Emploi certificate mentions in particular the remuneration for the 12 months preceding the last day worked and allows the employee to benefit from unemployment insurance.
The balance of any account, established in two copies, makes an inventory of the sums paid to the employee when the employment contract is terminated .
Balance of any account: why not sign it?
Article L1234-20, paragraph 2 of the Labor Code provides that: ” the receipt for the balance of any account can be canceled within six months of its signature, period beyond which it becomes discharged for the employer for the sums mentioned therein “
The liberating effect for the employer is the fact of no longer owing any money to the employee, beyond the period of 6 months.
If the employee forgets to denounce (dispute) the balance of any account within 6 months of the date of his signature, he will no longer be able to make claims relating to the sums mentioned therein.
In this regard, case law has notably clarified that the employee can no longer request the payment of overtime hours if the balance of any account that he has signed makes an inventory of sums indicating that these are paid ” as salary “ .
Example 1 : my balance of any account mentions the payment of a sum of 1,000 euros for wages, without further details. Overtime is part of these salaries. Thus, if I do not dispute my balance of any account within the period of 6 months following its signature, I can no longer request any amount for my unpaid overtime.
Conversely, the request for a salary reminder for unpaid overtime remains possible when the balance of any account signed by the employee only mentions an amount paid as salary for the current month .
Example 2: my balance of any account mentions the payment of a sum of 1,000 euros for the salary of the month of April 2020. If I forget to dispute my balance of any account within 6 months of its signature, I can nevertheless request payment for overtime for all the months concerned, except for April 2020.
The Court of Cassation therefore considers, extensively, that the liberating effect of the balance of any account for the employer does not only apply to the amounts mentioned (example: salary for the month of April 2020) but also to the amounts of same nature, not mentioned on the balance of any account, but related to it .
This jurisprudential interpretation thus comes to considerably limit the scope of article L3245-1 of the Labor code which allows to bring an action in payment of reminder of salary in the 3 years following the termination of the employment contract. In other words, as soon as the employee has signed his balance of any account, mentioning the payment of a sum as salary without any other details, and if he has not contested it within 6 months, he will not have then no longer the possibility of exercising this payment action later.
It is therefore preferable not to sign your account balance because:
- On the one hand, the absence of signature by the employee does not trigger the release period of 6 months for the employer  ;
- On the other hand, in the absence of a signature, it is up to the employer to provide proof that the sums mentioned on the balance of any account have been paid .
Similarly, the receipt for the balance of any account signed by the employee but not dated does not start the notice period .
Practical advice : your employer refuses to give you your end of contract documents if you do not sign your account balance, you can then sign it by adding the words ” subject to all my rights “, Which deprives the balance of any account of its liberating effect .
To know : the mention on the receipt for balance of any account of the notice period of 6 months is not compulsory for the employer .
Important : the receipt for the balance of any account which indicates the payment of a lump sum and refers for details of the sums paid to the attached pay slip has no discharging effect .
Essential : signing your balance from any account does not prevent you from contesting the breach of your employment contract in court and from claiming damages for unjustified dismissal .
Form for disputing the balance of any account.
The balance of any account must be reported by registered letter , with acknowledgment of receipt in order to retain proof.
Denunciation by an employee’s lawyer letter is allowed .
Likewise, referral to the Labor Court may be deemed to be a termination of the balance of any account, provided that the notice to the conciliation office has been received by the employer within the release period of 6 months. . As a precaution, it is therefore advisable to precede this referral with a letter of denunciation sent to the employer within the release period of 6 months.
Content of the disputed balance of any account.
The letter of denunciation of the balance of any account need not in principle be motivated .
In practice, it nevertheless seems necessary to specify in object “ denunciation of the balance of any account “, Then indicate that you dispute the sums mentioned therein, possibly providing additional explanations.