New health and safety protocol for employees in France: what has changed?

The French Labour Ministry has published a new set of COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for employees. On 30 June, the Ministry of Labour put online a new version of the National Protocol for employee health and safety in the workplace in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic (download below). This version aims ‘to prepare the fourth step of the reopening strategy related to the…

Dismissing an employee for wearing a headscarf on ‘brand image’ grounds may be discrimination: a new ruling from France

An employee who was dismissed for refusing to remove her headscarf which her employer claimed was problematic for its brand image was a victim of discrimination, according to a recent ruling from the French Court of Cassation. Background On her return from parental leave, a saleswoman employed by a clothing retailer came to work wearing a headscarf that concealed her hair, ears and neck. The employer…

Three ways companies in France can meet their social responsibilities

In 2019, companies are expected to engage with social, environmental and community issues, beyond simply developing their economic activity. To some degree, companies must contribute to improving society and to fighting against inequalities. Their purpose goes beyond the sole interest of shareholders. Below are three concrete examples to illustrate this evolution. 1. The ‘social and solidarity economy’ model The scope of the Social and Solidarity…

France – Zero tolerance of alcohol in the workplace can be legal

When there is a high risk to employees or third parties, employers are entitled to prohibit the consumption of alcohol, including outside the workplace, for certain categories of workers, according to a recent judgement. In France, alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer, cider and perry are allowed in the workplace. Other alcoholic beverages are prohibited. In circumstances where the consumption of these authorised drinks is likely…

France - The ‘Macron scale’ challenged in labour tribunals’ rulings

Giving employers a better view of the costs they must bear in the event of an unfair dismissal was the main argument of the French government when a scale was implemented by one of the so-called Macron orders dated 22 September 2017 (N°2017-1387). This scale, setting up minimum and maximum damages awards, should ultimately have a positive impact on employment, especially in small and medium-sized…

France: EUR 50 million fine for data protection violations

On 21 January 2019, the French Data Protection Authority (the ‘CNIL’) fined Google EUR 50 million for lack of transparency, inadequate information and failure to obtain valid consent for ad personalisation in violation of the GDPR. The violations of the GDPR noted by the CNIL The fine followed an investigation carried out by the CNIL, as a result of a joint complaint filed by the…

France: What is the law on age discrimination?

This article describes the current state of the law on age discrimination in the workplace in France, how claims are processed and the potential penalties for employers. French age discrimination legislation has been thrown into the spotlight in light of the most recent national measures on the employment of older workers (derived from a national inter-industry collective agreement and a government policy on the employment…

France: New items for 2018 French HR agenda

Pursuant to various HR law reforms in 2017, most of which are applicable as of 2018, your HR department will need to take immediate action to bring your company into compliance. Here is an overview of the most significant measures. Goodbye Works Council, hello Social and Economic Committee! In all companies, Staff Delegates, the Works Council and the Health and Safety Committee must be replaced…

France: The labour law reform

Following his election, President Macron announced major reforms starting with a large-scale overhaul of labour law. So, what are the most important changes that will impact your day-to-day HR management? The main goals of this reform are to provide more security for work relationships, to give companies more flexibility, more power to negotiate working conditions directly with employees and to reduce their financial exposure in…

France: Major changes to whistleblowing laws

Until recently, there was no obligation to implement a whistleblowing policy in France. However, when such a policy was put in place very strict regulations applied. These included obtaining prior authorisation, which was only very reluctantly granted, from the French data protection agency (the “CNIL”). Law of 9 December 2016 on transparency, the fight against corruption and the modernisation of the economy (referred to as…