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The Macron ordinances: Starting point of the revision of the French Labour Code

Macron ordinances

The French government has just published ordinances in the official journal. This is a vast reform of the labor code that is very difficult to summarize. We will show you some excerpts from the text below, but it is essential for anyone interested in this topic to contact a chartered accountant who can comment on the text in detail.

We have divided all these texts into four chapters.

I – Dismissal and restructuring

1/ Fixation of the scale of the industrial tribunal allowances

In order to secure working relationships, a scale has been set which must be respected by the judge in a dispute between employer and employee following a dismissal deemed to have no real and serious cause. This scale will also be applied in case of termination of a contract of employment by the judge to the wrongs of the employer.

Here are some examples of benefits valued in months of gross salary:

Seniority of employee in years

 Minimum indemnity
with less than 11 employees)

with 11 or more employees)

Maximum indemnity





















30 years and beyond




In addition, in order to limit the number of disputes, models of letters of dismissal will be made available to employers. Business leaders will also have the opportunity to clarify the motivation of the dismissal after the termination of the dismissal operations.

2/ Securing economic dismissal

Firstly, it should be noted that the rules in this area are only applicable in France for groups of companies located both in France and abroad.

The main consequences of the prescription are:

  • Lightening of the obligation to reclassify dismissed employees,
  • The definition of the scope of application of the dismissal order criteria will be defined by collective agreement.

3/ Statutory severance pay

It will now take eight months (one year under the previous law) for employees to be eligible for severance pay. Its amount is:

  • 1/4 of salary per year of seniority up to 10 years of seniority,
  • 1/3 of salary per year of seniority from 10 years of seniority.

4/ Creation of collective conventional rupture

The purpose of this text is to allow any company to negotiate voluntary departures without being part of the redundancy procedure. The employment contracts will thus be broken by mutual agreement between the employer and the employees.

This process will enable employees who are signatories of the conventional break to receive unemployment benefits.

II – Representatives of staff

This ordinance reorganizes the social dialogue in the companies by merging the staff representatives, the entrepreneurship committee and the “CHSCT” into a single body: the “ECONOMIC SOCIAL COMMITTEE” (CSE).

The entry into force of the “CSE” will be gradual, but all companies with more than 10 employees must have implemented it by 2020 at the latest.

Here are its main features:

  • Companies concerned: Those employing more than 10 employees,
  • Composition: The employer and a delegation of employees,
  • Elections: They are organized by the employer,
  • term of office of elected representatives: 4 years,
  • Duties:
    • a) to present to the employer the individual and collective complaints,
    • b) Intervene in matters of health, safety and working conditions,
    • c) In companies with 50 or more employees, the “CSE” is informed and consulted about important economic decisions for the company.

In addition, companies with more than 300 employees as well as nuclear sites or sites deemed dangerous, will have to organize a commission of “health, safety and working conditions”.

III – Collective bargaining

The main provisions are:

  • Primacy of the agreements of companies on the collective agreements except in the limited domains envisaged where the law or the agreement of branch have priority,
  • Possibility of referendum in companies with less than 10 employees,
  • Possibility of referendum in companies of not more than 20 employees in case of absence of elected member of the “CSE”.

IV – Other measures

Here are some of the different measures taken under the MACRON order:

  • Use of telework promoted,
  • Fixed-term contracts: End of the risk of requalification of a fixed-term contract under an open-ended contract when the employer has not sent the contract to the employee within 2 days of signing, In addition, certain points such as the maximum duration of the contract or the number of possible renewals may be provided by collective bargaining,
  • Modification of the “hardship account” (compte pénibilité).

We stress once again that this article is not intended to cite all the provisions of this very long order.

So, if you currently employ one or more employees in France or if you want to hire in a short time, you must contact a chartered accountant to discuss the consequences of this text on your rights and your obligations.

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