Labor Law | Fieldfisher
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Labor Law



The Macron Law operates for the liberalisation of the French labour market in order to encourage employment and the competitiveness of enterprises.

You will find below a summary of the main provisions adopted which may be of interest. They relate to labour law (1), competition, distribution and consumer law (2), telecommunications law (3), e-commerce (4), company and tax law (5), banking law (6), environmental law (7) and transport law (8).

The purpose of the Macron Law is to liberalise the French labour market to boost employment levels and competition between businesses.

  • More flexibility for working on Sundays and at night
    • The Macron law extends the scope of existing dispensations for Sunday rest, and strengthens the rights of employees who work on Sundays. The law defines new geographical areas to which the dispensations for Sunday rest are applicable. The number of "Mayor's Sundays", during which retailers can open, will increase from five to twelve per year. The law also underlines the voluntary nature of Sunday work and states that employees who cannot take a break on Sunday will be compensated by a collective agreement or an arrangement with the employer.


    • There will be similar measures in place for night work; in some geographical areas the beginning of the night shift will now not start until midnight. In addition, those employees working beyond 9pm will be entitled to financial compensation or compensatory rest periods.


  • Labour Court/ employment tribunal reforms are works in progress
    • A reform of the labour jurisdiction is needed to accelerate procedures and encourage the settlement of disputes. As a result of the reform, damages in contentious cases of redundancy are capped. The amount of such damages will vary, depending on the age/seniority of the individual and the number of the employees in the company, except in certain legally defined cases where there is no cap. Although the criterion of age/seniority has been deemed consistent with the purpose of the Law, the Constitutional Council has nevertheless rejected the provision on the grounds that the size of the company has no impact on the harm suffered by the employee. The principle of the indemnification cap itself is not being questioned. The government has already announced that work will be conducted in the coming weeks to adapt these provisions to the Constitutional Council requirements and complete the reform of the labour courts.


  • The improvement of social dialogue within businesses
    • Dialogue within businesses can be improved by ensuring that there is transparency during professional elections and that trade unions receive the minutes of such elections. In addition, fines relating to obstruction have been increased. However, the prison sentence for obstructing the establishment of representative employee bodies is withdrawn.


  • A renewed effort to stop the illegal posting of workers
    • In an effort to reduce the level of illegal international services that businesses employ, the cap on administrative penalties for failure to comply with formalities (prior to the posting of workers in France) is to be increased, as will the powers of the labour inspectors.


  • Improving legislation for employment security
    • The section of the law entitled "redundancy for economic reasons" covers improvements in legislation in relation to employment security. The maximum duration of job retention agreements is to be extended from two to five years. Furthermore, in the case of a redundancy plan, the latter will now establish a perimeter in which the criteria suggested for the order of redundancies is applicable. As a minimum the perimeter will cover the employment zone where the businesses are located concerned by the job cuts. Finally, the obligation to redeploy employees abroad in case of dismissal for economic reasons has been made less stringent.


  • Improving employment opportunities for the disabled or those with social and professional difficulties
    • A number of measures concern the improvement of employment opportunities for people with disabilities and "integration contracts". Thus, signing contracts for the provision of services, or sub-contracts with independent workers with disabilities, may allow the employer to fulfil the obligation to employ disabled workers, as well as offering people with disabilities work experience in a professional environment.


  • The incentives to use employee savings
    • Some rules relating to employee savings have been modified, such as the obligation to set up a participation agreement in companies with more than fifty employees, or even deadlines for distribution of dividends, aligned with those applicable to equity. The rate of the social contribution applicable to the payment of dividends has been lowered to 16%, or 8% under certain conditions.