Departure formalities

Applicable to:  Members of the personnel


On termination of their contract, CERN members of the personnel receive information concerning the various formalities that they must complete.

The purpose of these formalities is to ensure that members of the personnel:

  • contact all the relevant administrative services in order to return any necessary items (equipment, cards, keys, dosimeter, electronic equipment, books, etc.) and
  • are aware of all the benefits to which they are entitled on termination of their contract.

All the departure formalities must be completed before leaving CERN.
In particular, paragraph 46 of Administrative Circular No. 30 specifies that the reinstallation indemnity and the contract termination indemnities and grants are withheld until all the departure formalities have been completed.

In addition, under Article R II 4.18 of the Staff Regulations a compulsory medical examination is systematically required on termination of contract in the case of employed members of the personnel. It is highly recommended to contact the Medical Service at least one month before the last day of work.

Departure formalities are divided into two main parts:

  • most of it must be done before the last working day (return of materials, information from the different administrative services, etc.);
  • the last part at the end of the contract is limited to the Salaries office and the surrending of cards and green plates. Some of these formalities can be done remotely (e-mail, phone and cards to be returned by post).

N.B.: when the last day of work is long before the last day of the contract due to accumulated leaves, the last day of the contract can not be considered as a working day solely for the purpose of completing the last departure formalities.

The surrendering of Swiss and/or French cards is not only mandatory but will also be a precondition for the subsequent issuing of documents by the Swiss and French authorities (i.e. residence permits, etc.).

The brochure "When you leave CERN" intended for staff members includes useful information not only on the formalities to be completed at CERN but also on those that members of the personnel may be required to complete outside the Organization.


1. When are the departure formalities documents sent out?

The procedure for issuing departure formalities documents depends on the category of personnel

1.1 Members of the personnel (excluding Users, Cooperation Associate and Visiting Scientists)

When the HR Department’s Records' Office receives the Personnel Action Form relating to termination of contract, it records confirmation of the end of contract and the date of dispatch of the departure formalities documents in the personnel database. It is this date which automatically generates dispatch of an e-mail containing a link to the personalised departure formalities.

Staff Members and Fellows must receive their departure formalities at the latest three months before termination of their contract. Staff members who have accumulated a substantial amount of leave before the end of their contract receive their departure formalities before their last day of work.

Summer students must receive their departure formalities one week before the end of their contract.

N.B: Children of members of the personnel (acronym: “CHIL”) receive neither printed nor electronic departure formalities documents but must surrender their access card, and their key if they have been issued with one, to their departmental secretariat (DAO).

1.2 Users (USER), Cooperation Associate (COAS) and Visiting Scientists (VISC) (contract duration in excess of three months)

The Users Office automatically sends USER, COAS, VISC an e-mail 28 days before termination of their contract, when contract duration in excess of three months. This e-mail currently contains a link to a standard departure form which must be printed out.

2. Description of personalised departure formalities

The departure formalities consist of two distinct and complementary documents:

2.1 Departure letter (pdf format)

The letter is generated when the member of the personnel clicks on the link received in the departure e-mail. This document appears in PDF but with links that you can click on.
The data contained in this document are personalised to take account of the relevant category of member of the personnel and of any financial benefits applying on termination of contract.

This letter is automatically recorded in AisMedia and can continue to be consulted by the authorised administrative services.

N.B.: This departure letter does not replace the letter of notification of contract termination for staff members.

2.2 Termination sheet (EDH)

The termination sheet in EDH (example here) lists all the services which the member of the personnel must visit to complete the departure formalities. The advantage of this termination sheet is that the list of services to be visited is tailored to the contractual position of the member of personnel and to the equipment recorded as being in his possession.

3. What the member of the personnel has to do?

The member of the personnel may have access at any time to his departure formalities, either by consulting his departure e-mail or the termination sheet on the EDH desktop (Fiche de départ / Departure sheet).

N.B.: The member of the personnel’s computer account is automatically closed two months after termination of his contract and is deleted after 6 months. Before leaving CERN, the member of the personnel must add an external email through the website by clicking on the menu option « Provide or update an external email address ». A « lightweight account » will be then created automatically in order to allow the member of personnel to access his annual internal taxation certificate.

After this deadline, the member of the personnel no longer has access to the departure formalities documentation.

3.1 Departure e-mail

When the member of the personnel receives the departure e-mail, he must consult his departure letter by clicking on the link in the e-mail.

3.2 Departure letter (pdf format)

The member of the personnel familiarises himself with the information contained in the letter and takes the recommended steps. It is also advisable to print out this letter and keep a copy of it.

In particular, for staff members who may be entitled to benefit from various termination-of-contract benefits (e.g. termination-of-contract indemnity, reinstallation indemnity and payment of travel and removal expenses) this letter contains links to the forms that must be used in the corresponding procedures and need to be printed out.

The member of the personnel must click on the link to the EDH termination sheet in order to create it.

3.3 Termination sheet (EDH)

The member of the personnel records in the EDH termination sheet his private address and his personal e-mail address to which all future correspondence should be forwarded.

Before his contract expires, he then completes the formalities with all the services indicated on the termination sheet. The services may be visited in any order provided that the deadlines shown on the termination sheet are complied with. Thus, priority must be given to completing certain formalities, whereas others cannot be completed until the last day of contract.

The member of the personnel must visit all the services indicated on the termination sheet, failing which completion of the departure formalities will not be validated. These visits must be made even if the member of the personnel is staying on at CERN under a user contract (see the procedure for registering as a user, with the EP Department’s Users Office).

The member of the personnel must visit the Registration Service in order to return his access card before visiting the Salaries Office. He will receive in turn a day pass. 

To facilitate the round of visits to the various services, the member of the personnel can print out an “itinerary” by clicking on the link “Please click here to print your termination sheet”. (N.B.: the itinerary indicates only those services where the formalities have not yet been validated.)

4. What do the services involved in the termination sheet process have to do?

The administrative services concerned consult the member of the personnel’s termination sheet in EDH (Overview) and then validate completion of the departure formalities by clicking the ‘signature' box. They may add comments for internal use.

The departmental secretariat (DAO) heads the list on the departure sheet as the person(s) responsible for informing the member of the personnel about the termination of contract benefits to which he may be entitled and about the departure formalities process. The secretariat may use a departure checklist to ensure that all aspects of the termination of contract process are taken into account.

The departmental secretariat (DAO) must inform the member of the personnel about the process to be followed regarding the creation of the « lightweight account » (please see paragraph 3).

In the event of an annual leave request (or application for authorised absence) close to the contract expiry date, the supervisor and the departmental secretariat (DAO) must ensure that the leave balance is positive. If this is not the case, they must inform the Salaries Office of FAP Department.

In addition, the departmental secretariat (DAO) pays any contract termination travel expenses (see Payment of travel expenses on termination of contract).

The group secretariat (GAO) checks that the member of personnel has returned tablets, laptops, smartphones, camera, any instruments or work clothes, if applicable, that may have been allocated to him. Some types of equipment are recorded in individual departments’ own centralised databases and must be checked at this stage. DAO and GAO have a read-only access to the database INVENTORY and may retrieve the material belonging to the member of personnel by following the information mentioned on the page "Departure formalities - Access to Inventory".

In addition, in cases of restitution of mobile phone, the group secretariat informs the member of personnel of the procedure to follow for cleaning the device and registers systematically the suppression or the transfer of GSM subscription using the EDH document:Gestion d'abonnement mobile / Mobile Subscription Management.

Further information, in particular concerning the management of the access rights by the e-groups, may be found in the EDH departure formalities documentation.

5. Special case of departure formalities before special leave or authorised absence (unpaid)

Members of the personnel benefiting from special leave or authorised absence (unpaid) for more than 2 months must complete the departure formalities indicated on the following specific departure sheet, forwarded to them together with the amendment to their contract:

It is important that the member of personnel concerned makes contact with the services indicated on the sheet prior to his departure on special leave or authorised absence (unpaid).

In particular, the member of the personnel’s Swiss cards and French cards and those granted to any family members must be surrendered and the associated privileges cancelled.
If they have any further questions, members of the personnel must contact the Cards Service.


No revision Changes Approved on
1 Responsibility of the group secretariat in case of restitution of mobile phone. 01.03.2012
2 Additional information regarding summer students: they automatically receive their departure formalities one week before the end of their contract. 18.07.2016
3 Clarification departure formalities and last working day. 20.09.2018
4 Following the update of the Administrative Circular No. 21 (II): Special leave for professional reasons and for personal convenience, only MPEs are entitled to special leave for personal convenience or professional reasons. 22.01.2019
5 Clarification of the Lightweight account and the return of the access card to the Registration service. 05.02.2019
6 Following the update of the Administrative Circular No. 21 (II): the departure sheet for the MPE was revised and a new departure sheet was created for the MPA. 19.02.2019
7 GAOs and DAOs have a read-only access to the INVENTORY database as part of the departure formalities. 05.07.2019
8 Recommandation to contact the Medical service at least one month before the last day of work. 13.02.2020
9 Procedure for cleaning the mobile phone added. 10.09.2020