France: changes to French Works Councils requirements

As a reminder, following the Macron Reforms of 22 September 2017, all companies with 11 or more employees must put in place a Social and Economic Committee (a “CSE”) by 31 December 2019.

This means that:

  • companies with between 11-49 employees who did not previously have an obligation to have a Works Council must now organise elections; and
  • companies with an existing Works Council must organise elections for a CSE

before 31 December 2019. Continue reading

France: Important new decision in relation to the automatic transfer of employees

The French Supreme Court has recently issued an important new decision relating to the automatic transfer of employees in the case of asset transfers (the equivalent of the TUPE relations).

In this decision the Supreme Court held that the transfer of all employees of a company without a site works council would be treated as a "partial" transfer of employees where the company in question formed part of what is known as a UES (unique social and economic entity) with other companies.

Continue reading

France: The end of the risk of imprisonment for breaches of obligations towards the works council?

Current regime for breach of obligations towards the works council (and other employee representatives)

In France, failure to respect obligations in relation to employee representatives (the obligation to organise elections, prior consultation in relation to transactions and many other matters) is a criminal offence (délit d'entrave). Continue reading

France: Proposed abolition of the risk of imprisonment for breaches of obligations towards the works council

France's President, François Hollande, announced yesterday plans to replace the possibility of criminal sanctions (including imprisonment) for délit d'entrave (breaches of obligations vis-à-vis works councils) with simple fines.

These proposals are to be included in draft law to be presented to the French Council of Ministers in December and debated in the French Parliament in the first trimester of 2015.

Continue reading

France: Information and consultation with French works councils – precisions on the minimum periods for obtaining an opinion

Reminder : an opinion of the French works council must be obtained in advance of making final decisions in relation to certain matters affecting the French business/French employees –  a breach of such obligation is a criminal offence.  The time period for such consultation process must therefore be taken into account and this has previously been potentially problematic, given that French works councils were able to delay giving their opinion, thus delaying the ability to take certain decisions in France and causing uncertainty. Continue reading

France: Minimum time periods for information and consultation of French works councils – longer potential periods, but more certainty?

On 27 December 2013 the French Government finally published the Decree setting out the minimum time limits for information and consultation with works councils in France in the absence of a collective agreement providing for a shorter period of consultation.  These time limits apply, for example, to consultation which is required on share sales of French entities (where the French entity is a buyer, seller or target) and in relation to all transfers of businesses by way of asset transfers in France.

The minimum time periods are as follows: Continue reading

New European Works Council rules

Amendments to regulations on European Works Councils came into force on 5 June 2011, giving effect to the recast EU Directive. The changes aim to improve the effectiveness of information and consultation requirements. The amendments will apply to all EWCs, or information and consultation procedures, set up on or after 5 June 2011, and to those established after 15 December 1999 under agreements which were not revised between 5 June 2009 and 5 June 2011.

Please contact us if you would like further information on this change.