Rebsamen Law: its major changes

September 03, 2015

On the heels of Macron Law, which aims to provide more flexibility to employers, the French government recently enacted Rebsamen Law. Rebsamen Law (hereafter "the Law"), aims to simplify relations between unions and employer representatives by reforming: 

  • The structure of the employee representative bodies

The Law simplifies the employer’s obligations with regard to employee representatives by allowing them to regroup in one joint representative body the three existing bodies: the Staff delegates, the Work Council and the Health and Safety Committee. 

  • The social dialogue 

The 17 mandatory consultations of the Work Council will be gathered into 3 annual ones relating to: (i) the strategy of the company; (ii) the economic and financial situation of the company and (iii) the social policy of the company. 

  • The collective bargaining agreements

With the same spirit of simplification motivating the gathering of multiple consultations of the Work Council into 3 main areas, the obligations to negotiate with the unions will be consolidated into 3 blocks: (i) wages, working time and profit sharing; (ii) gender equality and quality of life at work and (iii) management of jobs and careers (every 3 years, in company with at least 300 employees).

  • Health and safety

The Law includes an innovation in terms of termination for unfitness to work: the employer may indeed proceed with the dismissal of the unfit employee once the occupational doctor’s opinion expressly states that keeping the employee in the company would seriously harm his/her health. In these circumstances, the employer is exempted from searching an alternative position. 

  • Representation of men and women within employee representative bodies

For each Electoral College, the lists of candidates must include a number of women/men corresponding to the proportion of women/men in the company. 

  • Board members

The threshold above which the Supervisory Board or the Board of Directors should include employee representatives is lowered.  

  • Representation of employees and employers in very small companies (i.e. less than 11 employees) 

An inter-professional joint committee is created at regional level for companies with less than 11 employees in order to give them access to the benefits of an employee representation.  

  • Renewal of fixed-term employment contracts and temporary employment contracts

The Law allows the renewal of a fixed-term employment contract or a temporary employment contract twice, instead of once until now.   

Read in French "Loi Rebsamen : les principaux changements"

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