Controversial new laws came into force on 6 August 2015, which amended the laws relating to:
- work carried out during evenings,
- Sunday working,
- profit sharing arrangements; and
- procedures required in the case of economic lay-offs.
The measures are designed to stimulate the sluggish growth of the French economy and to enable retailers to compete with internet-based sellers.
Below we outline the main points of interest.
- Definition of areas where Sunday working is authorised
3 types of locations are identified (trade areas, tourist areas and international tourist areas) where work on Sundays is authorised. Where these involve retail sales outlets covered by a collective bargaining agreement the consent of employees is required. In addition, the number of Sundays on which all shops can open (at the discretion of the local Mayor) is increased to 12 per year.
- Evening work
A new period of work from 21:00 to midnight was permitted during which employees must receive double pay. Where this involves retail sales outlets covered by a collective bargaining agreement it again requires the consent of employees.
- Profit sharing plans
Where implementation is not required by the law, the new rules encourage the implementation of profit-sharing plans (“accords de participation”) and collective pension savings plans (PERCO) by applying a lower rate of social security tax.
- Economic lay-offs
Some minor changes to the procedural requirements for collective economic lay-offs have been introduced as follows:
- the employer can define the selection criteria to be applied to determine the employees to be made redundant at the company level either by the negotiation of a collective agreement or by a unilateral document;
- employees must inform their employer if they are interested in potential job offers overseas.
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