The right to strike is the pet peeve of French employers… and for good reasons. France is the champion of strike actions: between 2005 and 2014, it lost between six and eight times more working days than the United Kingdom or Germany; in 2016 it experienced no less than 801 strikes.
The right to strike is a fundamental right but it is also a subject of controversy and conflict, particularly on the thorny issue of so-called “abusive” strikes. Paragraph 7 of the 1946 Preamble states that “the right to strike shall be exercised within the framework of the laws governing it”. However, there is no framework law regulating it, but rather scattered laws governing specific sectors such as the public sector, air transport, and the case law of the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court). This may explain why companies established in France often express their feeling of legal uncertainty on the strike issue. How to define and where to draw the borderline of abuse? Is a political strike without professional claims lawful in France? What means of action does the employer have at its disposal in the event of a blockage of its company? What means of action not only with regard to striking employees but also to safeguard the interests of its company?
In 2018, the French Ministry of Labor published the pay gaps between men and women: a 9% differential in wage and 25% at the end of the career. Yet, as per the famous principle “equal pay for equal work”, the employer is required to ensure equality of remuneration between employees of either gender, as long as the concerned employees are placed in identical situations.
Obviously, while an annual negotiation on professional gender equality has been mandatory in companies with more than 50 employees since January 1, 2012, the contemplated scheme has not yet fully come into effect.
Persistent gender inequalities have led the legislator to take action again by introducing for employers the obligation to publish indicators relating to gender pay gaps.
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