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.
Any and all French companies are required to search for redeployment opportunities before being entitled to dismiss an employee on economic grounds. This search must be carried out not only within the company itself but also within the group to which it belongs, both in France and abroad.
Law n° 2015-990 of August 6, 2015, known as the “Macron” Law, has amended the terms of the obligation to search for redeployment opportunities outside the French territory imposed on companies in connection with an individual or collective dismissal on economic grounds. The Macron Law has amended Article L.1233-4-1 of the French Labor Code. Decree n° 2015-1638 on the procedure for internal redeployment outside the national territory in case of dismissal on economic grounds dated December 10, 2015 provides the necessary clarification for the implementation of the redeployment procedure.
While it was portrayed by the Government as a reduction of the burden imposed on companies and as an infringement of the workers’ right to continued employment by those who defend employees, this is, in my view, just another example of demagogy that only makes procedures more complex and increases legal uncertainty through endless changes to the law.
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