Comparative Guides

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4. Results: Answers
Labour and Employment
Trends and predictions
How would you describe the current employment landscape and prevailing trends in your jurisdiction? Are any new developments anticipated in the next 12 months, including any proposed legislative reforms?

Answer ... The Macron Ordinances of 22 September 2017 on the reform of French labour law heralded a paradigm shift in France. Before then, labour law was exclusively protective of employees. Following the introduction of the ordinances, labour law provisions have sought to rebalance the employment relationship by introducing various measures to protect employers’ interests as well.

However, some employment tribunals have been reluctant to apply the new rules. For example, several employment tribunals have refused to apply the legislative scale relating to severance pay due in case of dismissal without real and serious cause, considering that this is inconsistent with international conventions. Faced with resistance from the employment tribunals, the government has asked them to report the decisions that have been appealed concerning the application of the scale, in order to join the proceedings as an added party and make known the opinion of the public prosecutor on the application of the law. A decision of the Court of Cassation (French Supreme Court) is expected in principle in 2020 to settle this issue. For the time being, therefore, the future of this scale remains uncertain.

Forthcoming labour law reforms mainly concern unemployment insurance and pensions. Essentially, they provide for the establishment of a common public pension scheme and make resigning employees and self-employed persons eligible for unemployment benefits. Negotiations on the content of these reforms are still ongoing.

For more information about this answer please contact: Emilie Ducorps-Prouvost from Soulier Avocats