France: The timeline for consulting the works council on the strategic orientation doesn’t begin if the database has not been provided
When the law provides for the communication of certain documents to the staff representatives in order to obtain their opinion on a matter, the consultation period only runs as of this communication. This is the case of the economic and social database, which is the basis for preparing the works council’s consultations. As long as it has not been made available to the works council, the consultation period does not run. The committee is no longer locked in a time window to decide. The Court of Cassation has ruled this in relation to one of the periodic consultations of the works council (the consultation on the strategic orientations), but this solution is applicable to all the consultations of this body.
It is therefore important for French-based companies to update the database regularly and to ensure that staff representatives are informed of this update.