Tag archives: Labour Law

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 ci-dessous sont donc sous réserve de la décision de cette instance.

Le but affiché de cette loi est de donner aux entreprises, notamment les TPE, ETI et PME, les moyens d’innover, de se transformer, de grandir et de créer des emplois. Cependant, cette … Continue Reading

French employment law : Key developments expected for 2019

The French authorities have been very prolific in the area of effecting reforms to employment law, and 2019 will not be an exception to this general rule (although perhaps less so than was the case in 2017 and 2018).

First, in 2019, a certain number of reforms promulgated in 2017 and 2018 will either come into force become fully effective:

  • As of January 2019, all companies have become subject to the requirement to withhold income tax from salaries paid to their employees. This change had been under discussion for a fairly long time and was initially planned to enter into
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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 minima and maxima as a function of the length of service of the employee and the headcount of the employing entity.

Prior to the adoption of the grid, courts were free to determine the amount of damages payable to unfairly dismissed employees based on the … 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 regulations (règlement intérieur) in the event of a TUPE transfer.

It should be recalled that the promulgation of internal regulations is compulsory in companies employing at least 20 employees and the purpose of such document is to cover specific topics, essentially health and safety rules, … Continue Reading

Singapore: “Watershed” Amendments to Employment Legislation

Singapore’s employment laws are set to undergo watershed changes come April 2019. In summary, a greater number of employees – in particular, professionals, managers and executives (“PMEs”) – will soon be able to avail themselves of the statutory protections contained in Singapore’s Employment Act, the key employment legislation in Singapore.

The single most significant legislative change is the removal of the monthly salary cap of SGD 4,500 in respect of PMEs. Presently, only PMEs below this salary cap have the benefit of the provisions in the Employment Act relating to minimum periods of notice, paid public holiday and … 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 employer, for example because they are free to accept or decline a request for work and because it is often a side job conducted at the same time as another activity.

In France, the business model of such platform relies on the individual … 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 disclose their identity since generally speaking, , anonymous reports are not acceptable (although a limited number of exceptions are available).

It is only very recently that the French Supreme Court had to resolve a case involving an employee dismissed on the basis of anonymous reports.… 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 right to disconnect as the employer is supposed to negotiate such modalities with its unions. In the absence of agreement, the employer is required to prepare a charter, after having consulted the works council or the staff representatives.

The law did not provide any specific … 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 leur domicile et le lieu d’implantation des clients de l’entreprise pour laquelle ils travaillent, qu’il s’agisse du premier client visité dans la journée ou le dernier client).

Comment doivent être pris en compte ces temps de trajet ? Sont-ils constitutifs d’un temps de travail effectif … Continue Reading

Will employers soon be under an obligation to require their employees to take holiday?

Although pursuant to Sec. 7 para. 1 of the German Federal Leave Act (Bundesurlaubsgesetz) it is the employer‘s obligation to grant holidays, in practice this usually occurs only after the individual employee’s formal request for holiday leave.

In the near future, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) must decide whether or not employers can – as currently – wait for an employee’s holiday request before granting holiday or if they are legally obliged to require employees to take at least the statutory minimum holiday, in order to prevent the employee being able to carry forward unused holiday entitlement … 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 independent from his or her client and is not subject to the supervision of an employer

The category in which a person falls is of particular importance as in one case, the individual will enjoy all the protection and rights arising from French … 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 of speech.

A recent decision of the French Supreme Court provides an illustration justifying such a warning.

A communication agency was warned by one of its clients that a very negative review had been posted (anonymously) on a website specializing  in publishing  reviews and rating … Continue Reading

Singapore: Legal issues commonly faced by freelancers and self-employed individuals

An estimated 8 to 10% of Singapore’s existing workforce comprise freelancers and self-employed individuals.[1]  This percentage is likely to increase with the expansion of the gig and on-demand economy. In recent months, there has been increasing public concern as to the ‘employment’ rights and legal status of these freelancers and self-employed individuals. Are they employees or independent contractors, and why does it matter?

As a matter of Singapore law, there is no single conclusive test which determines whether a person is engaged as an employee or independent contractor. An assessment of the entire context and working relationship between the … 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.

From time to time, the French Supreme Court renders decisions recalling this principle. And here is a perfect example.

In the case in question, a bank client relationship manager was dismissed under the following circumstances:

The bank in which he was employed organized a client … Continue Reading

Artificial intelligence and the workplace

These days especially in view of “Arbeiten 4.0”, the so called fourth industrial revolution in Germany, digitalization pervades the whole working world and is reflected in a vast number of different phenomena. As one of them artificial intelligence can complement – and in some cases even replace – manpower as we can see in the automotive industry. Yet the commitment is no longer limited to pure routine activities: Artificial intelligences can just as well assume employer’s responsibilities for example by giving automated instructions to employees. Therefore, digital changes also affect highly qualified positions, scientists and management – all of which … Continue Reading

Information collected via Facebook cannot – always – be used as evidence against an employee

Technology is ever-changing, and while in the past evidence of an employee’s misconduct was based mainly on “physical” witnesses and observations, employers might now be tempted to use data obtained through social media as evidence against their employees.

At the present time the French Supreme Court has not had many occasions to clarify the manner in which evidence obtained by French employers through the Facebook website (and more particularly on the “wall” of an individual) should be treated by the courts.… Continue Reading

Subventions du comité d’entreprise : du changement plus tôt que prévu

Le calcul des subventions qui doivent être allouées au comité d’entreprise (qu’il s’agisse de la subvention de fonctionnement, ou la contribution aux activités sociales et culturelles) est un casse-tête chinois pour les entreprises depuis plusieurs années déjà.

Ce casse-tête a été partiellement résolu par les ordonnances portant réforme du Code du travail qui ont prévu des dispositions spécifiques – et plus claires que les dispositions antérieures – sur les sommes à prendre en compte pour calculer les subventions allouées au comité d’entreprise.

Cependant, ces dispositions ne concernent que les sociétés déjà pourvues d’un comité social économique, à l’heure où l’écrasante … Continue Reading

Un salarié protégé peut-il contester la rupture conventionnelle homologuée dont il a fait l’objet devant le juge judiciaire ?

Les salariés protégés (représentants du personnel, délégués ou représentants syndicaux, salariés mandatés, etc.) bénéficient d’un statut particulier, eu égard à leur rôle dans l’entreprise. A ce titre, toute modification, et a fortiori, rupture de leur contrat de travail doit être autorisée par l’inspection du travail.

La conclusion d’une rupture conventionnelle homologuée, quand bien même il s’agit d’un mode de rupture qui suppose l’accord du salarié, ne déroge pas à cette règle. Afin que la rupture conventionnelle soit valablement conclue, l’employeur doit par conséquent solliciter et obtenir l’autorisation de l’inspection du travail.

Cette procédure a une incidence directe sur le contentieux … Continue Reading

French employment code reform: Focus on the social and economic committee

French President Emmanuel Macron has signed five ordinances making important changes to several aspects of the French employment code. The ordinances, which were immediately published in the French Official Journal on September 23rd, 2017, are aimed in particular at providing employers more flexibility and predictability in labour-management relations. They were supplemented by a number of decrees (some additional regulations should be published soon).

The law ratifying these ordinances is currently being discussed before the Senate. Pending its publication, all provisions of this ambitious reform (the “Reform”) are applicable.

Due to the significant amount of amendments to French employment regulation provided … Continue Reading

Recent developments in French employment law regarding financial institutions: How the French Government wants to enhance Paris’ attractiveness as a global financial place

Apart from certain provisions which may be tailored to the relevant situations negotiated by companies or sectors of business through collective agreements (subject to compliance with a number of basic rules and principles), French employment law does not include any specificities in relation to certain sectors of business.

In particular, financial institutions are subject to the same set of rules as any other French company.

However, this may change in the next few weeks or months.

As part of the process of ratification of President Macron’s ordinances reforming the French labour code,  the French National Assembly adopted on 23 November … Continue Reading

La présomption d’innocence peut-elle s’opposer au licenciement d’un salarié fondé sur des faits visés par une procédure pénale ?

La Cour de cassation a été saisie d’un dossier concernant un salarié de la société Euro Disney, qui avait été licencié à la suite de la découverte, par son employeur, et dans le cadre d’une enquête pénale, du fait que celui-ci avait acheté à l’un de ses collègues des stupéfiants.

En effet, au printemps 2012, une procédure d’instruction avait été ouverte pour rechercher des faits d’infraction à la législation sur les stupéfiants au sein du parc d’attraction. Plusieurs salariés avaient alors été mis en cause. Dans le cadre de cette procédure pénale, la société Euro Disney s’était constituée partie civile, … Continue Reading

French employment code reform: Focus on collective negotiation

On September 22, 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron signed five ordinances making important changes to several aspects of the French employment code. The ordinances, which were immediately published in the French Official Journal on September 23rd, 2017, are aimed in particular at providing employers more flexibility and predictability in labour-management relations.

Several provisions of this ambitious reform (the “Reform”) – numbering 159 pages and providing for 36 measures – are already in force.

These texts have now been supplemented by a further ordinance (published in the French Official Journal on December 21st, 2017) and by a number of decrees (published … Continue Reading

What rights does an employer have to suspend an employee in France?

Under French labour law, there are limited circumstances under which employers may suspend employees.

One of the main obligations imposed on employers is to provide employees with work to be performed  (and obviously to pay them in consideration for their work). Breach of this requirement may be considered as a ground for breach of contract, and the relevant employee can claim the equivalent of constructive dismissal which  in practice has the same consequences as an unfair dismissal).

In practice, there are two types of suspensions provided by the French labour code:

1. Disciplinary suspension (“mise à pied disciplinaire”)

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Working as a freelancer and as an employee for the same company

In Germany, the distinction between employees and independent contractors (also referred to as freelancers) is particularly important. For example, the question of whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor determines whether they are protected against unfair dismissal and also affects how they are treated for statutory social security and income tax purposes. The key factor which indicates that an individual is an independent contractor is that he performs the agreed services working independently. By contrast, an employee is characterised by his dependency on the employer. An employee performs his work in accordance with the employer’s instructions and … Continue Reading

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