Law no. 2015-994 of 17 August 2015 relating to social
dialogue and employment (the so-called 'Rebsamen law')
implemented a significant number of measures designed to simplify
employer/staff representatives' relationships, and more
particularly, the organisation of staff representatives'
Changes in the way staff representatives' meetings
should be conducted have been in force since 15 April this year,
after the entry into force of Decree no. 2016-453 of 12 April 2016,
relating to certain modalities of conducting the meetings.
The organisation of staff representatives' meetings
The decree of 12 April 2016 provides more detail on the changes
made by the Rebsamen law on the organisation of staff
representatives' meetings, such as (i) organising meetings by
videoconference, (ii) recording or shorthand note-taking of
meetings, and (iii) circulating meeting minutes, and their
Organisation of staff representatives' meetings through
Rebsamen law provides that staff representatives' meetings
may be held by videoconference, if agreed by the employer company
and staff representatives. In the absence of such an agreement, the
employer company may decide to organise three meetings by
videoconference on a unilateral basis throughout a calendar
The decree provides more detail on how to organise meetings held
by videoconference. It provides in particular that:
The used technical device must enable
the staff representatives' to identify themselves and to
confirm their effective attendance
The confidentiality of the vote must
be ensured in secret ballots (this applies to the recruitment and
dismissal of the occupational doctor or the dismissal of a
'protected employee' i.e. an employee having a staff
The facility to record the meetings or use stenography
The decree specifies that the employer company or the staff
representatives may decide on a unilateral basis to record the
meetings or use stenography.
However, the employer company can refuse it if the meeting
addresses confidential information.
In addition, the decree provides that if the recording of the
meeting or the note-taking is done by a person who is not an
employee of the company, the latter is bound by the confidentiality
obligation provided for by Article L. 2325-5 of the French
If the employer company requests that the meeting be recorded or
that someone takes notes in shorthand, it will have to bear the
associated costs, unless otherwise agreed with the staff
Contents of the minutes of the works councils' meetings and
deadline for circulating them to the employer company
The French Employment Code provides that the deadline to
circulate the minutes of works councils' meetings to the
employer company is determined by an agreement between the employer
company and the staff representatives.
In the absence of such an agreement, the decree provides that
the secretary of the works council must circulate the minutes
within 15 days following the meeting. If the meeting relates to
potential redundancies that would trigger the implementation of an
Employment Safeguard Plan (a so-called 'Social Plan', where
a company employing at least 50 people is considering making at
least 10 employees redundant within a 30-day period), the minutes
must then be circulated within three days following the meeting
(one day if the employer company is subject to a collective
If a new meeting is scheduled to take place within this
deadline, the minutes of the first meeting will need to be
circulated to the employer company before the new meeting.
The decree also specifies the minimum content of the minutes, in
the absence of an agreement between the employer company and the
works council. The minutes should at least contain a summary of the
discussions and the responses of the employer company to
suggestions made by staff representatives during the last
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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