European Elections Shakedown: Impact of the Dissolution of the French National Assembly on Employment Law

“The heaviest consequences in the history of the Fifth Republic”—this is how French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, described the early elections planned after French President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to dissolve the National Assembly. While the country is in turmoil, one might wonder—how will this impact the many upcoming employment law reforms in France?

The dissolution has already had direct consequences. All parliamentary work sessions are closed, including in the Senate. Many projects that were expected to be voted on may never be called in session.

For instance, the bill to streamline economic operations, which had been under discussion in the Senate, aimed to significantly streamline the presentation of pay slips and to reduce the legal deadline for informing employees prior to the sale of a company with fewer than 50 employees from two to one month. Similarly, the bill to prohibit hairstyle discrimination, which was adopted by the French National Assembly on March 28, 2024; the bill to fight against discrimination through statistical testing, on which senators and representatives failed to reach an agreement on April 10, 2024; and the bill related to class actions, which had been in discussion for over a year, might not become law.

The show must go on, however. The Macron government must finalize the decree reforming the unemployment insurance scheme. This will tighten the conditions for unemployment benefits by requiring eight months' work out of the last 20 months and reducing the maximum duration of benefits from 18 to 15 months. The looming June 30 deadline on which the previous unemployment insurance rules will cease to apply requires the government to act quickly. As a last resort, one option is to extend the application period of the previous rules.

It is too early to determine whether employment law issues will influence French citizens’ votes. However, the composition of the next Parliament and the direction of the next government will undoubtedly shape employment law.

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.