Partner event: “Labor Laws in France Have Changed, What’s New?”

January 22, 2018

“Labor Laws in France Have Changed, What’s New?”

This Program is organized by the European American Chamber of Commerce New York & Paris in cooperation with the Consulate General of France in New York.

Fri. January 26, 2018
09:00 am – 10:30 am

Shortly after President Macron’s administration installation, sweeping changes in labor laws have been issues and are being implemented across France as we speak.

These changes offer more opportunities and less risk for organizations investing in France. We’ll have the honor of welcoming Mr Pierre-André Imbert, special advisor to President Macron for social affairs.

Mr. Imbert will offer a high-level view of policies related to making France a valuable partner and destination to investors.

We will also offer the perspective of prominent French and US labor lawyers, as well as the view of a senior mergers and acquisition investment banker.

Part 1 – Labor laws in France have changed, what’s new?
Key objectives of the executive orders signed by President Macron on September 22th, 2017.

Discussion points
• Overview : What’s new in labor laws in France
• Economic grounds for establishing redundancy plans are limited to the French territory & entities
• Redundancy plans are now possible through a collective contractual termination agreement, instead of the more constraining “Plan de Sauvegarde de l’Emploi”,
• There are no more obligations to offer reclassification or relocation abroad
• Rules on dismissal provide less risk and more certainties
• There are new types of collective agreements
• Collective agreements negotiated at company level may have primacy over agreements negotiated at a national level but also, under some circumstances, over provisions of the employment contract
• Agreement of 50% from statutory unions is required to validate a collective agreement,
• When there is no majority from statutory unions, it is possible to request a referendum, involving the whole workforce,
• It is now possible to negotiate a collective agreement in all companies regardless the absence of union or staff representative body.
• Staff representative bodies are merged into a Social and Economic Committee (SEC)

Part 2 – Why is this important to investors?
Prior to the new legislation, it was difficult to reorganize loss making French operations in an otherwise profitable group. Now, only the French entity’s economic context is accounted for, regardless of the worldwide situation of the group in its industry sector.

Discussion points
• Scope of economic ground to be defined
• Litigation possible when a merger or other operations appear as a maneuver to make the operations unprofitable.
• The possibility for companies to implement collective plans should reduce significantly the risk of litigation.
• The obligation to offer employees redeployment positions outside of France has disappeared
• Compensations for unfair dismissal are capped.

Part 3 – Why is this offering opportunities and lowering risks?
• in organizational design
• in industrial reorganizations
• in mergers and acquisitions

• Pierre André Imbert, Special Advisor to President Macron on Labor Affairs, Republic of France [Paris]
• Christian Barthelemy, Director, Human Capital, Deloitte [Paris]
• Philip Berkowitz, Partner, Littler Mendelson, P.C., [New York]
• Alexia Cassimatis, Director, Human Capital Consulting, Deloitte France [moderator]
• Guillaume Desmoulin, Avocat Associé/Partner, Fromont Briens/Littler Global [Paris]
• Federico Mennella, Managing Director, Lincoln International, New York & Paris [New York]
• Franck Morel, Labor Counselor, Prime Minister’s Office, Republic of France [Paris]

This program will be held in Paris and New York simultaneously with a live-feed connecting both venues.
New York Program: 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM EST – Program with Q & A
Paris Program: 15:00 PM – 16:30 PM Paris Time

EACCNY Members: Free of charge
Non EACCNY Members: Free of charge

This Program is organised in cooperation with the Consulate General of the Republic of France in New York

Consulate General of France
934 Fifth Avenue (btwn 74th and 75th Street)
New York, NY 10021