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Source and scope of regulations - 2013    

References
  • Labour Relations Act [LRA], Act No. 90-11 of 21 April 1990, as last amended Order No. 97-02 of 11 January 1997
    (in French only: Loi no 90-11 du 21 avril 1990 relative aux relations de travail, telle que modifiée par l'ordonnance no 97-02 du 11 janvier 1997)
    Date: 11 Jan 1997 (view in NATLEX »)
  • Legislative Decree No. 94-09 on the preservation of employment and protection of employees who may unintentionally lose their job
    (in French only: Décret législatif no 94-09 du 26 mai 1994 portant préservation de l'emploi et protection des salariés susceptibles de perdre de façon involontaire leur emploi)
    Date: 26 May 1994; view website »
  • Individual Labour Disputes Settlement Act [ILDSA], No. 90-04 of 6 February 1990
    (in French only: Loi n° 90-04 du 6 février 1990 relative an reglement des conflits individuels de travail)
    Date: 06 Feb 1990 (view in NATLEX »)
Scope
Size of enterprises excluded (≤): none
Workers' categories excluded: civil/public servants; army; judiciary
Remarks:
  • Art. 3 LRA.


Collective agreements
Collective framework agreement of the private sector of 30 September 2006
(Convention collective cadre du secteur économique privé 2006)


Reforms under process
A reform of the labour law is in progress. As of December 2013, the new Labour Code has not yet been adopted


Types of employment contracts - 2013    

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Maximum probationary (trial) period: 12 month(s)

Remarks:
  • Art. 18 LRA - The probationary period shall not exceed 6 months.
    It can however be extended to 12 months when the job requires high level qualification.
    The probationary period is fixed through collective bargaining for each category of the workforce or for the entire workforce.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: Yes
    Remarks:
    • ART. 12 LRA.
      See also articles 25 to 35 of the CFA.
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: objective and material reasons
    Remarks:
    • A FTC can only be concluded in limited instances provided in art. 12 LRA (i.e temporary replacement of a worker, performance of casual tasks of a discontinuous nature, seasonal work or cases of a temporary increase on workload, performing work for a limited time of that is temporary in nature).
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: 36 month(s)
    Remarks:
    • No limitation in the legislation.
      However, for workers covered by the Collective Framework Agreement, the maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs is 36 months.(art. 26 CFA)

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - 2013    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Not in the LRA.
    However such obligation is prescribed in the 2006 Collective Framework Agreement: the employer shall indicate the reasons for the dismissal during a preliminary interview with the employee and in the employment termination letter. (art. 65 and 66 CFA)


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): worker's conduct; worker's capacity; economic reasons
Remarks:
  • The LRA allows an employer to dismiss an employee in the following cases:
    - Art. 73 LC: disciplinary dismissal for serious misconduct (includes a list of acts which constitute serious misconduct)
    - Art. 69 LC: workforce reduction for economic reasons.

    The Collective Framework Agreements of 2006 provides for a list of valid grounds for dismissal, as follows (art. 61 CFA)
    - serious misconduct within the meaning of art. 73-1 LRA;
    - legitimate and serious reasons relating to the employee personally within the meaning of art. 73-5 LRA. [Note that art 73-5 LRA provides for the right to notice to any workers which did not commit any serious misconduct]
    - workforce reduction for economic reasons
    - total and permanent and incapacity to work within the meaning of the social security legislation.
    The terms and conditions of application of this provision shall be specified in collective agreements.


Prohibited grounds: trade union membership and activities
Remarks:
  • - Art. 53 of the Act No. 90-14 of 2 June 1990 on the exercise of the right to organise prohibits the dismissal (and any other disciplinary measures) of a trade union officer on the grounds of his/her trade union activities.
    - The LRA does not contain any provision forbidding the dismissal of a worker on certain discriminatory grounds.
    However, art 17 of the LRA prohibits any provision in an agreement, collective agreement or employment contract which gives rise to discrimination in employment, remuneration or working conditions on grounds of age, sex, social or marital situation, family relations, political convictions and membership or non-membership of a trade union.


Workers enjoying special protection: no protected groups
Remarks:
  • No statutory provision found in the legislation reviewed.


Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - 2013    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: written

Remarks:
  • Any disciplinary dismissal (summary dismissal for serious misconduct) shall be notified in writing (Art. 73-2 LRA). A prior oral interview is also required.
    The law does not specify the form of notification for dismissals based on economic grounds.
    However, under the Collective Framework Agreement (CFA) of 2006, the dismissal decision shall be notified to the employee in writing (art 66 CFA). The CFA also requires the employer to conduct an oral interview with the employee prior to any dismissal not resulting from a workforce reduction (art. 64 CFA).

Notice period:
Remarks:
  • The LRA does not specify the duration of the notice period.
    Art. 73-5 LRA provides that any employee who did not commit an act of serious misconduct is entitled to a notice period (délai-congé) whose duration must be established in collective agreements.

    However, the Collective Framework Agreements of 2006 provides for notice periods requirements as follows:
    Unless there are provisions in the law, the employment contract or collective agreements which are more favorable to the employee, upon dismissal (except for serious misconduct), any employee is entitled to a notice period which shall be at least equivalent to the probationary period set out for that position. The notice period is increased by 5 days for each year of service with the same employer up to a maximum of 30 days (art. 61 CFA).

    Pay in lieu of notice: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 73-6 LRA.

    Notification to the public administration: No

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons (redundancy, retrenchment) - 2013    

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    Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
    No number specified in the Labour Relations Act.

    Remarks:
    • The LRA allows the employer to undertake a workforce reduction for economic reasons. Workforce reduction is defined as a measure of collective dismissal resulting in simultaneous individual dismissals (art. 69 LRA).
      The Decree No 94-09 provides for procedural requirements applicable in cases of workforce reduction. In particular, it provides for a social component ("volet social") of the procedure of workforce reduction (= a social plan) which is to be implemented in undertakings with more than 9 employees. (art. 6, Decree No. 94-09)
      This social component mainly consists in a set of protection measures aimed at avoiding dismissals (arts. 7, 8, 9, Decree No. 94-09).

    Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): Yes

    Remarks:
    • The LRA does not prescribe prior consultations with the workers' representatives.
      However, the Legislative Decree No. 94-09 provides for mandatory consultations with the worker's representatives on the content and the implementation of the social plan ("volet social") which includes measures aimed at avoiding dismissals (ie: transfers, retraining, retirement and early retirements, readjustment of bonuses and benefits, salary reassessment, introduction of part-time work..) [See articles 10 to 14 of the Decree].

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • No provision in the LRA.
      However, under the Legislative Decree No. 94-09, once the parties have reached an agreement on the social plan, the employer shall submit it to the registry of the competent tribunal and to the labour administration. In addition, when implementing the workforce reduction, the employer shall transmit the list of the employees concerned to the competent labour inspection and to the unemployment insurance funds (articles 15 and 15 of the Decree).

    Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

    Remarks:
    • The Legislative Decree No. 94-09 provides for mandatory consultations with the worker's representatives on the content and the implementation of the social plan ("volet social") which includes measures aimed at avoiding dismissals (ie: transfers, retraining, retirement and early retirements, readjustment of bonuses and benefits, salary reassessment, introduction of part-time work..) [See articles 10 to 14 of the Decree].

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): Yes

    Remarks:
    • Retrenched workers shall be selected inter alia on basis of seniority, professional experience and qualifications (art. 71 LRA).

    Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): Yes

    Remarks:
    • See art. 70 LRA.
      See also articles 7 to 9 of the Legislative Decree No 94-09 on the mandatory social component of the procedure of workforce reduction (= a social plan) which shall be adopted in undertakings with more than 9 employees. This consists in a set of protection measures aimed at avoiding dismissals (ie: transfers, retraining, retirement and early retirements, readjustment of bonuses and benefits, salary reassessment, introduction of part-time work..)

    Priority rules for re-employment: No

    Remarks:
    • Article 69 Labour Code

    Notes / Remarks
    Note that the procedural requirements related to the elaboration of the social plan (including consultations with the worker's representatives) set out in the Legislative Decree No 94-09 only apply to undertakings with more than 9 employees.

    Severance pay and redundancy payment - 2013    

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    Severance pay:
    Remarks:
    • No statutory severance pay in the LRA.
      However, under the Collective Framework Agreement of 2006, an employee is entitled to severance pay : 1) if he/she is dismissed for reasons not connected with the commission of a serious misconduct and 2) if he/she has at least 2 years of service with the same employer.
      The amount of severance pay cannot be less than 15 days' wages per year of service, calculated on the basis of the last salary.
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 30 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 60 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 75 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 150 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 300 day(s)
    Redundancy payment:
    Remarks:
    • Redundancy pay is regulated by the Legislative Decree No 94-09.
      Art. 22 of the Decree provides that in the case of a dismissal resulting from a workforce reduction, the employer has to pay to any worker who is entited to the social security regime of unemployment, an amount equivalent to 3 months' wages.
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 3 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 3 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 3 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 3 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 3 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 3 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 3 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 3 month(s)

    Notes / Remarks
    - Any dismissal (except for serious misconduct) of a worker covered by the Collective Framework Agreement (2006) with at least 2 years of service with the employer: severance pay of at least 15 days' wages for each year of service
    - Economic dismissal (workforce reduction): redundancy pay = 3 months' wages.

    Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - 2013    

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    Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: No

    Remarks:
    • Art. 73-4 LC.

    Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method):
    - Compensation for unfair disciplinary dismissal in lieu of reinstatement: at least 6 months' pay.
    - In case of non-compliance with mandatory procedural requirements: the dismissal is void and the employer shall pay compensation which shall at least amount to back pay.

    Remarks:
    • Art. 73-4 LC.

    Reinstatement available: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 73-4 LC.

    Preliminary mandatory conciliation: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Preliminary mandatory conciliation before the Conciliation Office (Bureau de Conciliation): see art. 19 of the Individual Labour Disputes Settlement Act.
      The Conciliation Office is made up of 2 representatives of the employers and 2 workers' representatives (art. 6 ILDSA).

    Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): labour court

    Remarks:
    • According to The Individual Labour Disputes Settlement Act, disputes regarding termination of employment are heard by the tribunal competent over labour matters [le "Tribunal siégeant en matiere sociale"] (art. 20 ILDSA). This tribunal shall comprise a judge and workers' and employers' representatives (art. 8 ILDSA).

    Existing arbitration: No

    Remarks:
    • No arbitration for individual disputes.

    Source of additional information - 2013    

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