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Employment law in France: 7 changes to expect in 2023

Fieldfisher's employment law team analyses the news at the beginning of 2023 and summarizes 7 major changes for the new year.
 


      I. Changes to the partial activity scheme


Use of partial activity (furlough schemes) for companies affected by load shedding

The Ministry of Labour's questions / answers on partial activity and long-term partial activity (APLD) in the context of the conflict in Ukraine, provides that companies affected by load shedding may place their employees in partial activity in the event that they are unable to adjust working hours to cope with this situation (Questions-réponses AP/APLD dans le contexte du conflit en Ukraine - Ministère du Travail, du Plein emploi et de l'Insertion (travail-emploi.gouv.fr).


End of the use of the long-term partial activity scheme (APLD)

Since 1 January 2023, it is no longer possible to send to the administrative authority, for validation or approval, a collective agreement or an initial unilateral document relating to APLD.

Companies and branches already covered may simply send the administration amendments revising an establishment, company, group or branch agreement, or a modifying unilateral document (Order No. 2022-543 of 13 April 2022 adapting the provisions relating to reduced activity to maintain employment).


Continuation of some measures taken during the Covid-19 health crisis

The use of partial activity is made permanent for:

  • foreign companies with no establishment in France and which employ at least one employee on French territory

  • some public law employers whose main activity is industrial and commercial, in respect of their private law employees (Finance Act No. 2022-1726 of 30 December 2022).

Furthermore, a partial activity minimum allowance is now set up at the level of the hourly SMIC rate for part-time employees and temporary workers (Decree No. 2022-1665 of 27 December 2022 relating to partial activity and the specific partial activity scheme in the event of a lasting reduction in activity).


End of the transitional social regime for supplementary compensation

As of 1 January 2023, if the employer pays compensation in excess of the statutory compensation, this supplement will henceforth be subject to the CSG tax applicable to earned income at the rate of 9.2%, to the CRDS tax at the rate of 0.5% and to social security contributions from the first euro onwards (Law no. 2020-1576 of 14 December 2020 on the financing of social security for 2021).


      II. Reform of unemployment insurance rules


Unemployment allowances are no longer paid to an unemployed who refused two permanent contracts  following its last fixed-term contract or temporary work

A jobseeker who refuses twice in the previous 12 months an offer of an open-ended contract after a fixed-term contract, to take up the same or a similar job with at least equivalent pay, the same classification and no change in the place of work, may lose his or her right to unemployment benefit.

The same will apply to temporary employees who, on two occasions during the previous 12 months, have refused an offer of an open-ended contract from the user company at the end of an assignment to take up the same or a similar job, without changing the place of work (Law No. 2022-1598 of 21 December 2022 on emergency measures relating to the functioning of the labour market with a view to full employment).
 

Possibility of adjusting the duration of unemployment benefits according to cyclical indicators on employment and the functioning of the labour market from 1 February 2023.

A draft decree specifying the terms of this modulation was sent to the various trade union organisations on 23 December 2022. This draft provides that the duration of compensation would be reduced by:

  • 40% if the unemployment rate is below 6%.

  • 25% if it is between 6 and 9%.

However, discussions are underway to abandon the 40% reduction.


Presumption of resignation in the event of job abandonment by an employee and deprivation of the right to unemployment benefit (see our article).


      III. Employee savings


End of DDETS formality check

The one-month legality control by the administrative authority (DDETS) on agreements or regulations relating to employee savings is abolished (Law No. 2022-1158 of 16 August 2022 on emergency measures to protect purchasing power).
 
As from 1 January 2023, the administration will forward the agreement or regulation to the social security administration, which will have a period of three months to request the withdrawal or modification of certain illegal clauses (Decree No. 2022-1651 of 26 December 2022 implementing the provisions relating to employee savings).


Security for profit-sharing agreements drafted via the URSSAF platform

Profit-sharing agreements may be drafted via an URSSAF platform accessible online at www.mon-interessement.urssaf.fr and if this is the case, the social and tax exemptions will be deemed to be acquired for the duration of the said agreement as from its filing (Law no. 2022-1158 of 16 August 2022 on emergency measures to protect purchasing power and decree to be published).
 

      IV. Measures relating to URSSAF controls


URSSAF audits of companies with fewer than 20 employees will be limited to 3 months from 1 January 2023, with some exceptions (notably concealed work).
 
Furthermore, during an inspection of a company belonging to a group, the URSSAF inspection officer will be able to use the documents and information obtained during the inspection of other companies in the same group, provided that the company being inspected is informed (Law no. 2022-1616 of 23 December 2022 on the financing of social security for 2023).
 

      V. Extension of the professional security contract (CSP)


An amendment No. 6 of 24 November 2022 to the agreement of 26 January 2015 (convention du 26 janvier 2015) was signed by the social partners. The CSP scheme therefore remains applicable until 31 March 2023.
 
This extension of only three months is explained by the fact that the social partners wished to examine the consequences of changes in the unemployment insurance rules. The scheme can therefore be adapted from March 2023.



      VI. Various revaluations


Revaluation of the annual social security ceiling (PASS)

The PASS has been revalued for the first time since 2020. It is thus set at 43,992 euros for 2023.

The increase in the PASS has the effect of raising certain exemption ceilings (e.g. for severance pay) (Order of 9 December 2022 setting the social security ceiling for 2023).


Revaluation of the exemption ceiling for the employer's contribution to meal vouchers

As from 1 January 2023, the exemption ceiling is revalued from 5.92 euros to 6.50 euros, which means that the maximum amount of meal vouchers is 13 euros (Law n° 2022-1726 of 30 December 2022 on the finances for 2023).

 
Revaluation of the SMIC


The minimum wage is revalued by 1.81% on 1 January 2023 and thus amounts to 1,709.28 euros gross per month, i.e. 1,353 euros net for 35 hours per week (Decree no. 2022-1608 of 22 December 2022 raising the minimum growth wage).

New scales for seizure of remuneration

New scales also apply to the seizure of remuneration from 1 January 2023 (Decree No. 2022-1648 of 23 December 2022 revising the scale of seizures and assignments of remuneration). 

 

      VII. Industry-wide collective bargaining negotiations: four social innovation agreements signed within the Syntec Federation


Four agreements were signed on 13 December 2022 in the Syntec branch (the collective bargaining agreement for tech companies) and will now apply to all member companies in this sector once the extension order is published:

  • the number of professional and managerial staff who can benefit from the annual day package (forfait jours) is increased since professional and managerial staff positioned at 2.3 in the branch classification will be able to benefit from it;

  • provisions concerning the framework for telework have been adopted, and in particular the lunch break duration has been increased (from 20 to 45 minutes);

  • an article on the right to disconnect provides that the employer shall adopt the necessary measures so that employees have the possibility to disconnect from the remote communication tools made available to them. In addition, in companies with more than 250 employees, a disconnection adviser must be appointed to raise awareness of the issues involved in disconnection among managers and staff;

for employees subject to a fixed-term contract, days worked exceptionally on Sundays and public holidays are now paid with a 100% increase.
 

Alert: renewal of the Works Council CSE
 

Many companies had set up their Works Council in 2019. In 2023, new professional elections should be organized to renew this body.
Fieldfisher employment law team will discuss the details of the renewal of the Works Council in a future article.

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Employment