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Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure FR-2002-3/2672 – measures in France

Employment protection plan (PSE)

Plan de sauvegarde de l’emploi (PSE)

Country France , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 17 January 2002
Context COVID-19, Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
Author Frédéric Turlan (IRshare) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 June 2022 (updated 23 November 2022)

Background information

The job protection plan (PSE) is a set of measures designed to limit the number of redundancies, in particular through redeployment measures. The PSE is a document which: brings together a set of measures intended to limit the number of redundancies and to promote the redeployment of employees whose redundancy is inevitable. It must be communicated to the public authority.

Content of measure

The purpose of the ‘Plan de Sauvegarde de l'Emploi’ (PSE) is to avoid redundancies or to limit the number of them. It provides a ‘reclassification plan’ to facilitate the redeployment of employees whose redundancy is inevitable, which must include a plan especially designed for older workers (50+) and those with social characteristics making their re-employment more difficult (impaired workers, workers with work-related health issues). The PSE includes:

  • actions aimed at the internal redeployment of employees on jobs within the same job class or equivalent to those they hold;
  • actions aimed at fostering the transfer of all or part of the existing activities in order to avoid the closure of one or more facilities;
  • the creation of new activities by the company
  • actions promoting the outplacement business;
  • support actions for the creation of new businesses or the take over of existing businesses by employees;
  • training actions, validation of acquired experience (VAE) or actions to facilitate internal or external redeployment of employees in equivalent jobs;
  • reduction of measures on working time as well as volume reduction measures for overtime performed regularly.

Under this general framework, the PSE may provide various measures such as incentives for voluntary departure, or the establishment of a re-employment unit (cellule de reclassement). In case the employer is to set up an employment protection plan, he can ask, under certain and demanding conditions, for a public financial support to facilitate the redeployment of redundant employees.

The constitution of an employment protection plan is mandatory in companies with at least 50 employees if the dismissal project concerns at least 10 employees over a period of 30 days.

Use of measure

According to the DARES (2022), in an economic context marked by the COVID-19 health crisis, 610 job-saving plans (PSE) are being implemented in 2020 (after 490 in 2019). They concern 56,200 people in 2,770 establishments, half of which are in Île-de-France, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Hauts-de-France. These establishments are mainly located in two branches: metallurgy and steel industry as well as design offices and business services.

In 2020, of the 610 PSEs implemented, 47% were the result of the approval of a unilateral document drawn up by the employer, and 50% were the result of the validation of a majority agreement between the company and the trade unions. The remaining 3% were the result of a hybrid procedure.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Workers in non-standard forms of employment
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Trade unions
Employers' organisations
Local / regional government
European Funds
National funds
Regional funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


Social partners on company-level may involved to negotiate the content of the PSE.

Views and reactions




Eurofound (2022), Employment protection plan (PSE), measure FR-2002-3/2672 (measures in France), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.