Notice of termination : Framework agreement for collective mutual termination agreements (accord collectif portant rupture conventionnelle collective)
No later than 1 January 2018, unless a “décret” has been previously promulgated as provided for in the “Macron Labor Law of 31 August 2017” (3rd ordinance), a so-called “framework agreement for several simultaneous collective mutual termination agreements” will be submitted to the employees regardless of the size of the company. This is already provided for in Art. L. 1237-17 and seq of the French Labor Code and will enter into force no later than 1 January next year.
In simplified terms, it is a framework agreement that determines in advance the conditions for the possible voluntary redundancy of several employees in return for a consideration. This framework agreement, as the individual mutual termination agreement, must, in addition, be explicitly (or implicitly) approved by DIRECCTE within two weeks of the submission. If no written approval is given within this time limit, the framework agreement is considered accepted. On the contrary, if the framework agreement is rejected, it can be submitted to DIRECCTE with improvements for further approval.
The employees will then be informed of the framework agreement and the conditions of participation by posting in the workplace according to Art. L. 1237-19- 4 du Code du Travail.
Pre-requisites and differences
This framework agreement is not a classic redundancy plan (PSE), which is subject to much higher statutory requirements and, moreover, requires an economic ground. The aim of the “accord collectif portant rupture conventionnelle collective” is to reduce the number of employees in the company as part of voluntary departures without having to dismiss them.
Unlike the classic individual termination agreement, a framework agreement for future collective mutual termination agreements can only be decided by the employer. This framework agreement, which defines the legal framework for future termination agreements and under which the different termination agreements are to be entered into, must contain the following minimum pre-requisites in accordance with Art. L. 1237-19-1 Code du Travail:
- arrangements for information of the works councils (soon “Comité Social et économique” instead of “CE”);
- Maximum number of scheduled departures;
- duration of the termination phase;
- pre-requisites and conditions of participation;
- employees decision criteria;
- Basis of calculation of severance pay, which may not be lower than the statutory minimum compensation;
- professional redeployment measures after the departure of employees (eg training measures, retraining measures, etc …).
Furthermore, the formal pre-requisites of Art. L 2232-12 of the Code de travail must be met (validité d’un accord d’entreprise).
Finally, it is important to note that no employee can be forced to participate and subsequently forced to terminate the agreement. However, should the employee be interested, the employment agreement will be mutually terminated if approved by the employer.
In addition to the financial compensation entitlements that must be mentioned in the framework agreement, the departing employees are also entitled to unemployment benefits (but not the “CSP”, which is only provided for dismissals. There is also no entitlement to reinstatement.)
This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for legal advice addressed to particular circumstances. You should not take or refrain from taking any legal action based upon the information contained herein without first seeking professional, individualized counsel based upon your own circumstances. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements.
Information by ALARIS AVOCATS