Macron's Copernican Revolution: French Labour Law Reform

Author:Mr Chris Williams
Profession:iGlobal Law

French president Emmanuel Macron, true to his election commitment, has published decrees seeking to implement major liberalising reforms of French labour law.

He has called it a "Copernican revolution" (he of the 16th century earth around the sun idea).

It remains to be seen whether French labour law will revolve around Mr Macron's vision of reform or he will (as so many French presidents before) end up revolving around the trade unions' vision. If he succeeds, maybe they will call him the Sun President.

The key reforms:

Employee/employer negotiation and collective agreements will be able to take place at the individual company/business level and not, as now required, at the sector level. This will allow for much faster company/employee level responses to changing business conditions and circumstances. Negotiating collective agreements for employees of smaller (less than 50 employees) business may not require union involvement. Global business strength will no longer be available as a reason to block local French restructuring or reductions in force. Currently a global business wanting to restructure French operations can be blocked from doing so on the grounds that its non-French operations are healthy. Wrongful dismissal damages will be moved...

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