Covid-19 wave 2 “less damaging” in France but large-scale job cuts expected


In recent programs, we’ve looked at the impact of Covid-19 on businesses around the world and seen how many of them are responding by restructuring, often involving massive layoffs. The key message has been that the jurisdictions in each country are different, sometimes very different, as is employment law, and this is a key point in understanding if, for example, you are a UK based multinational company. but with a presence in the UK. one of those countries. So let’s turn to France. The Business Times reported on Monday that the French restrictions would not be as damaging as the previous lockdown. They say industry and construction business leaders expect a much more moderate drop in business as they face fewer limits on operations and new health protocols allow more employees to continue working. The Banque de France estimates that activity in November during the lockout will be 12% lower than the normal level before the crisis. Nonetheless, Reuters reports that there will still be widespread job cuts in France in the coming weeks and points out that the problem for French bank SocGen is to cut 640 jobs. The bank said it was restructuring to improve efficiency and profitability, but that there would be no forced layoffs – instead, the bank would encourage employee mobility or come up with plans to voluntary dismissal instead. France 24 looks at the economic impact of the latest coronavirus restrictions in France – the hotel industry, already battered by the lockdown earlier this year – now faces the prospect of seeing up to 15% of businesses in the sector disappear by the end of this year and, for those who can hang on, large-scale redundancies. So let’s move on to these layoffs and what French labor law requires from employers. How are the French labor laws in the UK? As an HR professional, what do you need to know? To help you with all of this, I spoke to Valérie Blandeau who is based in Paris:

Valérie Blandeau: “In French labor law, the first thing a company must think about, or the head office if its head office is elsewhere than in France, is the number of people to be made redundant because of a possible employment program. restructuring or layoff. In French law, the collective procedure starts above two, which means that two people to be dismissed are already collective, then there is a second threshold which is ten employees, which means that if a company plans to dismiss nine employees over a period of 30 days, this is what we call the small collective dismissal process that must be implemented. If we are talking about more than 10 people to be laid off in the company of 50 people-plus over the same 30-day period that is in the same wave, for short, then we have to implement and think about what is called the big one. , the great process, and this triggers the consultation of the works council on the project itself, as the justification that will be explained to the works council as to why, despite everything that has been done before, it does not There is no other choice but to let people go because the situation is no longer good and you have to preserve the interest of the company, or the interest of the group, and so on. This is therefore the first consultation, on the justification. Then there is a second consultation of the works council around the social plan itself, which is essentially a list of all the social measures that the company is willing to put in place to help people find a new one. position, a new job, training. So it can be travel allowances to try to find a new job, it can be redeployment training, redeployment allowances, that sort of thing, and extra severance pay, which works council is always. ready to negotiate to help people find new jobs and to be as little impact as possible in terms of compensation due to restructuring. So, to sum up, the first thing is how many people need to be made redundant? How many employees in the company in France because all these evaluations must take place only in France? How many people must be made redundant? How many people in the company, to be sure that we are implementing the appropriate process which is: (a) if it is less than two, an individual process and (b) if it is between 2 and 9, the small collective process, and (c) if it is greater than 9, we speak of a social plan, and it is about two to four months of consultation with the works council before implementing a termination per se.

If you want to follow economic news in France, we recommend the Euronews site, which is headquartered in Lyon. In addition to daily economic news, it also covers the latest developments in Covid-19.


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