On January 1, 2020, the personnel delegates (DP), the works council (CE), the health, safety and working conditions committee (CHSCT) or the sole personnel delegation (DUP) will be replaced by a single institution: the Social and Economic Committee (CSE), as provided by the Macron order No. 2017-1386 of September 22, 2017.

Which companies are concerned? The CSE is set up in companies with at least 11 employees. This workforce figure must be reached during 12 consecutive months. It is calculated according to the provisions set forth in the French Labor Code (Article L. 1111-2 of the French Labor Code).

At what level is the CSE to be set up? The CSE is set up at company or Social and Economic Unit level. A central CSE and establishment CSEs are set up when the company has at least two separate establishments and employs at least 50 employees.

Mandatory setting up of the CSE:

  • as from January 1, 2020; or
  • at an earlier date fixed by a collective agreement or a unilateral decision of the employer, after consultation of the CE or, in the absence of CE, the DP or, as the case may be, the DUP.

How is the CSE set up?  The employer must organize elections to set up the CSE. In practical terms, the elections must be organized at the latest in October 2019 to set up the CSE by January 1, 2020.

First CSE meeting: It is the employer that will convene the first meeting of the newly elected CSE and that will determine its agenda. Regarding the agenda, no legal provision determines its content but, in practice, the following items should be included:

  • appointment of the secretary, treasurer and their deputies;
  • management report and communication of documents by the outgoing committee;
  • appointment of the representatives to the company's board of directors and general meetings, as the case may be;
  • appointment of the members of the commissions if relevant;
  • point on the committee's internal rules;
  • practical operating methods of the committee (premises, material, bank accounts, delegation hours, budget payment terms);
  • transfer of the CE's assets, rights and obligations, receivables and debts (see our Social Alert of November 2018).

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