How will changes to France’s labour laws affect you in 2021?

France has extended its Covid-19-related changes to the labour law for another six months, here's a look at how that could impact you.

How will changes to France's labour laws affect you in 2021?
People work in a co-working office in La Défense, Paris' business strict, on October 7th. Photo: AFP

What has happened?

The French government has prolonged changes in its Code du Travail labour law until the end of June 2021 in a decree published on December 16th.

France made the temporary changes in March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic forced the government to impose a strict nationwide lockdown that halted its economy to a near-standstill.

Relaxing the labour law was meant to help businesses to weather the economic downturn and prevent chain bankruptcies and mass unemployment.

The changes was set to end on December 31st but the government has decided to extend it by six months.

READ ALSO These are the days off work you are entitled to in France

Who is affected?

Broadly speaking the law affects the right of some employees to paid leave and holidays as well as those working on short term contracts.
In some businesses, employers may unilaterally impose paid days of paid leave on their employees and/or break up or change already settled days of leave.
This is however only possible in businesses where a collective agreement allows for such measures, and even then the total number of days the employer may make such changes is limited to six in total.
Employers may also decide when an employee is to take their RTT days, the special French overtime days.
No collective agreement is required for the employer to access these rights. However the total number of imposed RTT days is limited to 10 maximum.
For short-time employers on fixed-term contracts (CDDs), the employer may increase the total number of times it is allowed to legally renew these contracts. This too is limited to businesses where there is a collective agreement around this.
Usually in France a CCD must be turned into a CDI (longterm contract) after a certain number of renewals, a measure in place in order to ensure worker's right to stability.

For full details, go to the government's website, LINK HERE.

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