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Global employment briefing: France, May 2016

  • France
  • Employment law

24-05-2016

Deadline for new compulsory employee meetings has passed

Overview

Law n°2014-2888, of 2014, required employers put in place arrangements for a formal meeting with employees (a “professional meeting” or “entretien professionnel”) every two years. The final date by which such arrangements had to be in place, therefore, was 7 March 2016. The “professional meeting” is different from the annual performance review.

Main compulsory employee meetings

The introduction of professional meetings means that an organisation may have to organise three kinds of employee meetings, either as separate meetings or combined but with different agenda and minutes.

Timing Kind of meeting Aim/comments Legal provisions
Once a year 1. Performance review To assess the employee's performance and discuss salary, potential underperformance issues, improvement plan, promotion etc. Collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) or in-house rules
2. Working time review For employees working in days per year, to discuss the employee's workload, the organisation of work within the company and the balance between professional, private life and remuneration Article L. 3121-46 of the French Labour Code and CBA / in-house rules
Every two years 3. "Professional meeting"

To define potential development and training actions through three steps:
(i) reviewing the employee’s professional background before and after hire
(ii) identifying company needs and the employee's aspirations
(iii) defining potential implementation actions

Article L. 6315-1 I. of the French Labour Code and CBA / in-house rules
After certain leaves Same as 3 After maternity/adoption leave, part-time or full-time parental leave, long sickness absence, sabbatical leave, staff representative mandate, voluntary external mobility etc. Article L. 6315-1 I. of the French Labour Code and CBA / in-house rules
Every six years Same as 3 Plus a summary of the employee’s career path, to check that he/she has regularly benefited from (i) the professional meeting every two years, and (ii) at least one training action, a professional certification, and a professional or salary progress Article L. 6315-1 II. of the French Labour Code and CBA / in-house rules

General comments

Inviting employees to the meetings by email or letter is recommended. The meeting and its minutes should be in French. The results should remain confidential.

Particular comments

  • There are specific duties and templates for the organisation of professional meetings, depending on the company's business sector.
  • The meetings may trigger information and consultation duties towards staff representative bodies prior to implementation and on an annual basis.

Potential sanctions/risks in case of non-compliance

  • Civil damages in case of unjustified dismissal for poor performance;
  • Civil damages for lack of professional development / training
  • Specific sanction for companies with at least 50 employees after 6 years: payment of 100 hours of training for a full-time employee / 130 hours of training for a part-time employee, i.e. from €3,000 to €3,900 per employee.

Comment

Companies may incur significant sanctions / risks for lack of regular meetings with its employees under the new legal provisions.

For more information contact

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