Littler Global Guide - France - Q1 2017

Browse through brief employment and labor law updates from around the globe. Contact a Littler attorney for more information or view our global locations.

View all Q1 2017 Global Guide Quarterly updates

Publication of the Equality and Citizenship Law

Enacted Legislation

The Equality and Citizenship law aims at reaffirming the French Republic’s values with a particular focus on citizenship and the fight against inequalities and discriminations. Some provisions are of particular relevance for companies: expansion of the eligible training programs for the vocational training personal account, creation of a leave for associative responsibilities, expansion of the mobility possibilities for apprentices outside of the European Union, opening for associations of the procedural capacity for company-based discriminations, obligation to take into account the company’s anti-discrimination policy for the implementation conditions of the public procurement contracts, new obligation of a non-discriminatory recruitment training for the staff responsible for recruitment in companies of at least three hundred employees and in companies specialized in recruiting activities.

Employees Medical Supervision and Physical Unfitness

New Order or Decree

As of January 1, 2017, depending on their exposure level to occupational risks, employees are assigned to one of the two medical supervision schemes: the classic medical supervision and the increased medical supervision. The decree of December 27, 2016 specifies the medical supervision modalities and notably the conditions under which the initial visits and their periodic renewal are organized, depending on the position type, the occupational risks involved with such position, the age and health status of the employee. The Decree also gives a legal framework for the incapacity to work recognition procedure and the possible challenge of the occupational health officer opinion before the industrial tribunal.

Challenge of the Valuations Ordered by the Workplace Health and Safety Committee

New Order or Decree

On December 18, 2016, a decree specifying how to challenge the valuation ordered by the Workplace Health and Safety Committee under the provisions of the law of August 8, 2016 was published within the Official Journal of the French Republic. It specifies a ten days period for bringing an appeal before the Supreme Court against the trial court decision in case of dispute on the necessity of the valuation, on the expert advisor nomination, on the valuation projected cost or on the valuation scope or delay. It also specifies that the district court has jurisdiction for disputes on the valuation final costs brought by the employer.

Electronic Pay Slips

New Order or Decree

As from January 1, 2017, employers can deliver electronic and paperless pay slips, except if the employee personally formalizes his refusal. A decree dated December 16, 2017 sets the conditions for such delivery of electronic pay slips as well as the procedure of refusal for the employee. This decree also sets the minimum duration of conservation of such dematerialized salary slips.

Obligation to Report the Identity of the Person Responsible of a Traffic Violation

New Order or Decree

As of January 1, 2017, an order establishes the obligation to disclose the identity of the driver who is responsible of an infringement to the traffic regulation. Non-compliance is subject to a maximum fine of EUR 750 for the legal representative of the entity. A related order identifies the information that must be disclosed to the authorities; the methods for delivery; an provides a list of targeted infringements, including the use of the safety belt, the use of hand-held phones, the respect of security distances, the crossing of continuous line, the road signs prescribing the stop of vehicles, to maximal speed limits, among others. The method for electronic disclosure is available on the website of the National Agency (

«Aggressive» Collective Bargaining Agreements for Employment Protection or Development

New Order or Decree

Law n° 2016-1088 of August 8, 2016, provides that company level agreements may be concluded to protect or develop employment. As such provisions are legally binding, they may replace provisions that are contrary or conflicting within the employment contract, as long as the monthly wages of employees are not diminished. The decree of December 27, 2016, defines the guaranteed monthly wage and specifies how employees may object to the implementation of the agreement and what individual support and compensation programs can apply to the objecting employees.

Payment by the Employer of Fines Due to Traffic Infringement of the Employee Subject to Social Contributions

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

The French Supreme Court rules that the payment by the employer of fines imposed due to an employee’s infraction of traffic regulations while using a company vehicle shall be considered a benefit and, thus, shall be subject to social contributions.

Employer Representative for Social Security Contributions

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

The Supreme Court ruled that, by virtue of the French Social Security Code, an employer without a French establishment cannot appoint an employee to fulfil the company’s declaration requirements and payment liabilities of the social security contributions. Any agreement to that effect is automatically null and void and cannot give rise to any legal effect, even if it provides that the employee will not definitively support the burden of the payment. Thus, the foreign employer without an establishment in France cannot choose one of his employees as an appointed representative for social security contributions payment.

Extension of the Protection Status to the Employees Sitting in a Joint Committee Set by a Collective Bargaining Agreement

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

The Supreme Court ruled that the union delegates protection also applies to all employees sitting in a professional or inter-professional joint committee, included if these committees were set up by collective bargaining agreements signed prior to the entry into force of the Vocational Training all along Life and on Social Dialogue Law n° 2004-391 of May 4, 2004. To dismiss a national or local joint committee member, the labor inspector authorization is required.

Derogation to the Overtime Hours Quota Set in the Industry Sector

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

On March 1, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that, under the French Labor Code, overtime hours quota may be set at a different level than the one provided for by the industry wide agreement by company or establishment level agreements, regardless of the signing date.

Strengthening of the Collaborative Platforms Social Responsibility

Proposed Bill or Proposed Initiative

A decree project defines the governing rules of some measures aimed at establishing a social responsibility for collaborative platforms, effective January 1, 2018. It specifies the level of turnover threshold at which the collaborative platforms have social responsibility obligations (13% of the annual threshold of the national social security, namely 5,020.80 € in 2016), along with the platform support level of the occupational accident insurance contribution taken out by the self-employed worker. It also specifies the platform support level of the costs for a validation of prior experience program (3% of the annual threshold of the national social security, namely 1,158.48 € in 2016) and limits the compensation for wages loss to twenty-four hours at the hourly rate equal to the rate for the legal minimum wage.

Reform of Tort Law

Proposed Bill or Proposed Initiative

As a continuation of the previous reform of obligations law (Contract Law, Obligations General Scheme and Evidence Scheme Reform Order n° 2016-131 of February 10, 2016), the Keeper of the Seals, Jean-Jacques Urvoa, presented on March 13, 2017 the modified tort law reform project following the open public consultation initiated on April 29, 2016. Among the noteworthy developments: possibility for the judge to direct any definitive measure aimed at preventing the damage or at bringing the unlawful disturbances to an end (preventive function of tort law), introduction in general law of the civil fine intended to apply when a responsible party will deliberately commit beneficial misconduct, namely a misconduct generating more benefits than what it would cost the party with redress for damages and improve compensation for physically injured victims.

Discrimination-Based Class Action

Proposed Bill or Proposed Initiative

The Modernization of the 21st Century Justice Law n° 2016-1547 of November 18, 2016, completed by the Equality and Citizenship Law n° 2017-86 of January 27, 2017, authorizes the representative trade union organizations and, under some conditions, the associations created at least five years ago and working in the fight against discriminations or handicap field, to introduce discrimination-based class actions for employees or job, internship or professional training applicants. Under the decree project, the court having jurisdiction is the one where the defendant lives. It specifies the designation, performance of tasks and salary modalities for the third party who can be appointed by the judge in order to bring the discrimination to an end. It also specifies the ruling advertising measures in case of recognition of discrimination and the terms of accession for a victim to the class action group, in order to obtain compensation.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.