REDUNDANCIES – RECENT AND FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS
- THE FRENCH SUPREME COURT HAS RULED THAT WHERE AN EMPLOYMENT
CONTRACT TERMINATES AS A RESULT OF A TERMINATION AGREEMENT SIGNED
BY AN EMPLOYER AND AN EMPLOY-EE, THE EMPLOYEE CANNOT CHALLENGE HIS
- Impact date: 8 February 2012
The Supreme Court overturned the decision of the Grenoble Court
of Appeal which had allowed an employee to challenge the economic
grounds for termination of his employment. The Grenoble Court of
Appeal had based its decision on the principle of equal treatment
of redundant employees as employees who are terminated on the basis
of a dismissal letter are allowed to challenge the economic
rationale included in that letter.
The Supreme Court's decision is based on Article 1134 of the
Civil Code which provides that "agree-ments lawfully entered
into take the place of the law for those who have made them. [...]
They must be performed in good faith".
In other words, an employee who has reached an amicable
agreement to terminate his employment contract cannot subsequently
change his mind and go to court to claim damages for unfair
This will be the case not only when the employee signs an
individual termination agreement but also when the termination
agreement is signed on the back of a collective agreement entered
into with un-ions in the context of a reduction in the
EMPLOYEES ARE ENTITLED TO HOLIDAY PAY FROM THE FIRST
DAY OF WORK
- Impact date: 1 June 2012
Article L.3141-3 of the French Labour Code (as amended by law
n° 2012-387 of 22 March 2012) provides that employees are
entitled to paid holidays as soon as they start work. The new law
will enter into effect from 1st June 2012.
Before the new law, the right to paid annual leave was available
only after the employee had worked a minimum of 10 days with the
same employer. However, the 10 day requirement was held to be
contrary to the EU Directive n°2003/88/EC dated 4 November
NEW TELEWORKING REGULATIONS INTRODUCED INTO THE FRENCH
- Impact date: 4 March 2012
The French law n° 2012-387 of 22 March 2012 has introduced
into the French Labour Code three new articles (L.1222-9 to
L.1222-11) dealing with teleworking.
According to the new law, which came into force on 4 March 2012,
employers are required to comply with the following
collect employees' written consent to teleworking by having
them sign an employment contract or an addendum to the employment
detail procedures for monitoring employees' working time in
the employment contract or the ad-dendum to the employment contract
(in the absence of a provision within a collective bargaining
bear all the teleworking-related costs (e.g. subscription to
inform the employees of any restrictions relating to the use of
computer equipment and sanctions for failure to comply with those
give teleworking employees priority to take an unrelated
teleworking position that is appropriate for their skills and
have an annual meeting with the employees to address any issues
on work conditions and workload;
set time schedules during which the teleworking employees can
Most of the above provisions were already included in the
nationwide inter-professional agreement of 2005. However, that
agreement was only binding for certain employers. The teleworking
provisions are now mandatory for all employers doing business in
EMPLOYEES WHOSE ANNUAL WORKING TIME IS BASED ON A FIXED
NUMBER OF DAYS CAN GET DAMAGES FOR ILLEGAL WORKING IF THEY DID NOT
SIGN AN ADDENDUM TO THEIR EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS AUTHORISING THE
- Impact date: 28 February 2012
The working time system based on a fixed number of days per year
does not entitle workers to an overtime payment in consideration of
work done. However, this system is valid only if it is expressly
authorised in a collective bargaining agreement and if the employee
previously signed an addendum to his employment contract.
Employers who failed to sign an addendum with their employees
cannot hold them to the fixed days system, which means that
employees can claim an overtime payment if they can prove that they
worked above 35 hours a week. Employers can also be ordered to pay
a 6 month salary indemnity to the employees for illegal work,
according to the ruling by the French Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court's ruling is somewhat surprising as until
that decision the only way for an employee to claim for illegal
work against the employer was to prove that the latter had failed
to mention the exact number of hours worked on the pay slips.
It is therefore of the utmost importance for employers to
collect employees' written approval by asking them to sign an
individual addendum to their employment contracts prior to them
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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