France: Legislation in response to the Pandemic: Staff Representation and Remote Work Framework
The second wave of the Covid19 pandemic has instigated legislation and regulatory action to help set-up a framework for businesses adapting to the crisis. The derogatory provisions authorising the use of remote meetings for staff representatives have been reinstated. In addition, the social partners have finalised a draft national cross-industry agreement on remote work that outlines employers’ duties and the rights of remote workers.
Remote Works Council Meetings
Until the end of the state of health emergency, currently scheduled for 16 February 2021 at the latest, the derogatory provisions authorising the use of remote meetings for staff representatives have been reinstated.
This reinstatement was carried out by the Order no. 2020-1441 dated 25 November 2020. As was the case last spring during the first wave of the pandemic in France, a decree specifies the technical procedures for consulting and holding meetings when they are held by conference call or an instant messaging service.
Decree no. 2020-1513 of 3 December 2020 incorporates exactly the same provisions of the decree from April of this year on identifying participants, ensuring their effective participation and the appropriate voting system.
Negotiations advance on Remote Work
On 26 November, the representatives of the main employee trade unions and employers’ organisations, known in France as the “social partners” finalised a draft national cross-industry agreement on remote work.
It should be signed by seven of the eight organisations representing employers and employees. It covers such topics as the implementation of telework and the specific rights of teleworkers, etc.
This text aims to facilitate the implementation of telework. It does not actually create new rights, but lists and clarifies the existing rules applicable in French legislation regarding remote work.
It details the role of managers, who are responsible, in particular, for preserving the social-connection between workers.
It also invites employers to anticipate the identification of activities that can be performed remotely, in order to cope with exceptional circumstances such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in France, please contact Joël Grangé (Partner) of Flichy Grangé Avocats at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.flichygrange.com.