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Articles from Emilie Ducorps-Prouvost

Published at 29 September 2017
Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: September 2017
He had promised it and he did it: The Major Reform of French Labor law was the spearhead of Emmanuel Macron’s presidential campaign. On Friday September 22, 2017, the President of the French Republic signed the five Ordinances that substantially reform French labor law. While for Emmanuel Macron this reform constitutes a “Copernican revolution” of labor relationships, opponents, including in particular Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the head of the far-left party La France Insoumise, call it a “social coup d'état ». So, revolution or putsch? On both sides, the terms used are certainly exaggerated but a new wind is definitively blowing. Human resources directors and in-house counsels all agree that it is a pragmatic, “encouraging” reform that “is moving in the right direction” to increase competitiveness in France. This article focuses on the flagship measures introduced by the Ordinances. Human resources directors and in-house counsels all agree that it is a pragmatic, “encouraging” reform that “is moving in the right direction” to increase competitiveness in France. This article focuses on the flagship measures introduced by the Ordinances.
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Published at 29 June 2017
Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: June 2017
Since the election of Emmanuel Macron as President of the French Republic, the whole world has its eyes on our country and one of the issues for which Emmanuel Macron and his Government will be under much scrutiny is of course French labor and employment law. The Government’s ambition is to find innovative solutions very quickly, by relying on consultations between social partners (i.e. employees’ and employers’ representative bodies) in order to articulate social and economic performance. While it is still too early to tell whether the “work program to renew our social model” submitted to the social partners on June 6 will be the launch pad for ambitious and efficient major labor reforms, one thing is certain: The wind of hope and positivism is blowing again on French social partners and actors.
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Published at 27 April 2017
Category : Immigration
E-newsletter: April 2017
Theresa May said that she is in favor of the preservation of expatriates’ rights provided that an agreement on “reciprocal rights” is reached. In fact, it is highly likely that the British Government will impose work permit restrictions. In that case, and as the principle of reciprocity will apply, British citizens will need a visa to work in France. The future of expatriates will most certainly be used as a bargaining chip during the withdrawal negotiations and chances are high that what happens to them will be decided at the last minute, in 2019, when UK’s withdrawal from the European Union will become effective. Let us hope, at least, that our leaders will work out efficient agreements to impair as little as possible the free movement of people between the United Kingdom and France, in particular with respect to business immigration.
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Published at 28 February 2017
Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: February 2017

Foreign parent companies whose French subsidiary is subject to insolvency/bankruptcy proceedings (judicial liquidation or receivership) can in certain instances be sued in tort by the employees of such subsidiary who have been dismissed. This type of claim in tort in the context of insolvency/bankruptcy proceedings is becoming an increasingly common practice in France.

As such, French Labor Courts may order foreign parent companies to pay damages in compensation for the loss suffered by employees dismissed in France as a result of a fault/negligence by such parent companies in the management of their French subsidiary. However, a decision handed down by the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) on January 10, 2017 specified that, in the context of international insolvency proceedings, the French judge has not necessarily jurisdiction to adjudicate this type of case.


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Published at 26 December 2016
Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: December 2016
In today’s digital and “all-connected” world where 71% of French executive employees read work emails in the evening or on holiday , the “right to disconnect” has been officially introduced in the French Labor Code following its legislative recognition in the so-called “Work Law” of August 8, 2016. Effective as from January 1, 2017, the mandatory annual negotiations on gender equality in the workplace and quality of life at work must also address “the conditions in which the employee can fully exercise his /her right to disconnect and the implementation by the company of mechanisms to regulate the use of digital tools”. While the legislator’s laudable initiative to prompt employers to put in place regulation systems in order to protect the employees’ personal life and preserve their health is welcome, it is also perfectly understandable that companies working internationally and /or in an ultra-competitive environment that requires the highest level of responsiveness express concerns regarding the necessity to continue to rely on the reactivity of their autonomous executive employees. Should we be pleased or concerned about the emergence of the right to disconnect? What are the boundaries of this right? Is it a realistic right or a right that is totally “disconnected” from business realities?
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Published at 29 November 2016
Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: November 2016
In our October 2016 e-newsletter, we addressed forfait working time arrangements, an important element of the so-called “Work Law” of August 8, 2016 . This month, we will focus on an even more sensitive issue raised by said Law: Dismissals on economic grounds. It is clear that through successive reforms, the French legislator, navigating by sight on troubled waters and finding himself in the middle of a power game between trade-unions and employers’ federations, has been trying to reach his goal to make French labor and employment law more secure while maintaining focus on employment protection and growth. In this spirit, the Work Law attempts to make dismissals on economic grounds more secure but, after so many compromises, it does not really recast the existing set of rules and even create additional uncertainties. As such, it seems that unfortunately the hopeful resolution to build a secured framework adapted to economic and financial constraints has not been yet fulfilled.
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Published at 28 October 2016
Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: October 2016
Law of August 8, 2016 on Work, Modernization of Social dialogue and Securing Professional Careers, often referred to as the “Work Law”, addresses most areas of French labor and employment law. It includes significant provisions on collective negotiation and the enshrinement of company-wide collective agreements, and makes so-called forfait jours and forfait heures working time arrangements more secure. Highly criticized, the Work Law aims at securing these working time arrangements and offers a secured way for companies to compensate for the lack of clauses on employees’ workload in applicable collective agreements.
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Published at 30 May 2016
Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: May 2016
The objective of the so-called “El-Khomri Bill” – as was the objective of the so-called “Macron Law”, clearly not fully achieved – was to make French labor and employment law more flexible, in particular to increase the attractiveness of the French marketplace in the eyes of foreign investors. Despites the significant changes that have been made to the initial version of the Bill, strong objections continued to be raised against the text and the government had no other choice but to use Article 49-3 of the French Constitution and to commit its responsibility on the Bill to force the Bill through on May 12, 2016. A courageous action by the government? Not really if we take a closer look at the provisions set forth in the last version of the Bill, in particular with respect to dismissals on economic grounds.
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Published at 31 March 2016
Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: March 2016
Did you say obligation de résultat with respect to safety in the workplace? This is an extremely burdensome obligation that employers have towards their employees, an obligation that was enshrined by the so-called “asbestos” decisions rendered by the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) that made this obligation an absolute one. Since then, in labor disputes, it has become a common practice to claim that the employer has breached his obligation to ensure safety, in particular in order to support a request for the judicial termination of the employment contract, based on a too much stressful, oppressive or anxiety-provoking work organization or work climate. This article provides insights into case-law developments since 2015: Indeed, while the Cour de Cassation does not lower its level of requirements when assessing employers’ compliance with their obligation to ensure the safety of their employees, it still seems to offer a way out to those who implement within their company positive prevention measures with respect to health and safety.
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Published at 23 December 2015
Category : Labor & Employment
E-newsletter: December 2015
In our April 2014 e-newsletter, we reported the enactment of Law n°2014-384 of March 29, 2014 aimed at recapturing the real economy, commonly referred to as the “Florange” Law, that notably imposed on companies or groups with at last 1,000 employees the obligation to search for a buyer wherever they intend to close down a site, which results in large-scale dismissal on economic grounds. At that time, we stressed the stubbornness of the legislator who decided – despite all opposition – to push for the enactment of the text whereas the Constitutional Council had invalidated large sections thereof and rejected the enforcement of sanctions in case of non-compliance, which, in practice, made the Law ineffective. We also announced the forthcoming publication of a decree setting forth the conditions in which the Law would be implemented. In April 2014, we had an unworkable text with an unclear scope of application. The announced decree has been finally published and it thus is time to make a new status report on the contemplated scheme that turns out to be particularly burdensome for companies and groups that intend to close down a site in France.
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