Topic: France

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France: The complex consequences of the occurrence of gross misconduct during the notice period

The general rule under French law is that when employment contracts are terminated, employees are entitled to a prior notice period, the length of which depends on the status of the employee (executive or non-executive), their length of service, and in some cases their age. The applicable rules are generally set by the sector-wide collective … Continue reading

Death during sexual intercourse qualified as a work-related accident

During a business trip to a construction site, an employee was found dead of a heart attack in a room after having had sexual intercourse with a “complete stranger” he met during the day. The employer completed the usual formalities by informing the social security authorities of the death and the circumstances. The social security … Continue reading

What are an employer’s chances of overcoming an employee’s claim for overtime in France ?

The basic working time arrangement in France is 35 hours per week, and although there are a number of alternative working time arrangements potentially available, this is still the one that applies to the majority of French employees. However, this is not a maximum working week – employees working beyond that amount are entitled to … Continue reading

Alcohol at work: can the employer apply a zero tolerance policy?

A decision of the Supreme Administrative Court (“Conseil d’Etat”) of 8th July 2019 has overruled the decision of a work inspector (“inspecteur du travail”) who had rejected a zero tolerance policy regarding the consumption of alcohol during working hours for certain classes of employees in a company. The case concerned a company specializing in the … Continue reading

Plafonnement des dommages intérêts en cas de licenciement injustifié : la rébellion se poursuit

La Cour de cassation vient de déclarer conforme aux engagements internationaux de la France, le « barème Macron » qui plafonne les indemnités attribuées par un juge en cas de licenciement sans cause réelle et sérieuse. Avant l’entrée en vigueur du « barème Macron », en cas de licenciement sans cause réelle et sérieuse , il appartenait au juge de fixer … Continue reading

The strict conditions that must be complied with to pay variable remuneration in France

Whilst an employer is perfectly free to offer variable remuneration to an employee, the validity of such remuneration is subject to compliance with a number of conditions developed by the courts, as follows: – the variation of the remuneration must be based on objectives or targets the accomplishment of which are independent from the employer’s … Continue reading

Loi Pacte : Que faut-il en attendre dans les relations employeurs / salariés ?

La loi « Pacte » (Loi relative à la croissance et la transformation des entreprises) a été adoptée en lecture définitive par l’Assemblée Nationale le 11 avril dernier, après de longs mois de débats devant l’Assemblée Nationale et le Sénat. Elle a fait l’objet d’un recours devant le Conseil Constitutionnel, saisi le 16 avril dernier. Les commentaires … Continue reading

The beginning of a revolution (by the French lower courts) ?

French President Emmanuel Macron implemented a significant reform of the French employment code in late 2017, with the intention of providing employers greater flexibility and predictability in managing labour relations. One of the most controversial measures was the creation of a grid applicable to the amount of indemnities due to employees for unfair dismissal, setting … Continue reading

What happens a firm’s internal regulations following a TUPE transfer ?

Under French employment law, the application of TUPE regulations triggers specific consequences not only with regard to an employee’s employment contract, which is transferred automatically by operation of law, but also on the employees’ collective status. In this respect, a recent decision of the French Supreme Court has specified what happens to a company’s internal … Continue reading

Decision of the French Supreme Court of 28th November 2018 : Does it spell the doom of the gig economy?

The term « gig economy » has come into use to describe segmented jobs governed by “apps”. Drivers, riders, cleaners rely on a “digital platform” to be put in contact with clients and their jobs do not seem to fall precisely within the parameters of laws designed to deal with the traditional subordination relationship of employee to … Continue reading

Dismissal for misconduct cannot be based (solely) on anonymous reports

Anonymous reports have been mistrusted for a number of years in France, for historical reasons. While anonymity enables individuals to raise their voice more openly, without being the targets of retaliation measures, it can also drift into slander. This explains a specificity of French law under which whistleblowers using ethicals lines are strongly encouraged to … Continue reading

The dangerous combination of the right to disconnect and the concept of on call-duty

French law implemented in 2017 the “right to disconnect” from digital tools, requiring employers to limit employees’ use of digital tools outside of office hours. The purpose of this legislation is to protect the employees’ work-life balance and their right to rest periods. The law did not provide details of how employers should implement the … Continue reading

Can a dismissal letter be signed by an individual belonging to a holding entity?

Dismissal procedures are highly regulated in France including with respect to the identity of the individual who is entitled to conduct the procedure and sign the dismissal letter; such person must -by definition- be the “employer” .  However, some flexibility has been introduced over the years by French case law, and a recent decision of … Continue reading

Regulation applicable to dress codes in the workplace in France

An individual freedom… Generally speaking, employees are free to choose how they wish to dress, including in the workplace. Such freedom is protected by the rules of the French labor code, which provide that an employer may not restrict an employee’s work clothing without proper justification based on the nature of the tasks to be … Continue reading

Tort liability: other grounds for bringing actions against a parent company in French employment litigation

It is a fact of life in French employer-employee relations that employees have no hesitation in bringing actions against their employer, in particular following termination of an employment, and that litigation is therefore not just a virtual weapon. Not only do employees sue their employer but, where the employer is a part of a group … Continue reading

Le temps de trajet des salariés itinérants n’est (définitivement) pas du temps de travail effectif

La détermination du temps de travail effectif des salariés est un sujet complexe, et l’enjeu est considérable pour les salariés dans la mesure où ce temps de travail effectif a un impact direct sur leur rémunération. C’est encore plus vrai pour les salariés itinérants, dont les fonctions impliquent des temps de trajet importants (notamment entre … Continue reading

RGPD : nouveau facteur de risque en droit social?

Le règlement général sur la protection des données (« RGPD ») est entré en vigueur le 25 mai 2018. Il modifie la législation antérieure sur le traitement des données personnelles en supprimant notamment le principe de déclaration préalable à la CNIL. Cette déclaration est remplacée par une obligation pour l’entreprise de démontrer la conformité de ses systèmes … Continue reading

Issues of employment status in France

France makes a distinction between those individuals with an employment status and independent workers. Under French employment law, an employee is defined as an individual who works pursuant to an employment contract (and under the subordination of the employing entity) and receives a salary in return for his or her services. Unlike an employee, a consultant remains … Continue reading

Employees’ freedom of speech on the Internet is not without boundaries

Books, hotels, restaurants, products: you can find reviews and rating websites for just about everything on the internet – even employers. However, employees posting internet reviews of their employer should be careful and measured in what they say, or risk being subjected to disciplinary measures  – or even dismissal – if they abuse their freedom … Continue reading

Lack of probity may provide grounds for dismissal for serious misconduct

French employment courts generally subject alleged reasons for employee dismissal to close scrutiny, particularly where dismissals are based on a breach of the duty of loyalty or of probity. Such breaches only constitute valid grounds for dismissal if they are genuine and rely on objective facts and behaviour which are attributable to the employee concerned. … Continue reading

Inexécution d’une promesse de porte-fort conclue dans le cadre d’une transaction : pas de résolution du protocole

En l’espèce dans le cadre d’un litige avec l’un de ses salariés, un employeur a été condamné à verser à celui-ci une somme totale de près de 180.000 euros. A la suite de cette décision, les deux parties se sont rapprochées ont conclu un accord transactionnel aux termes duquel l’employeur versait au salarié une somme … Continue reading
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