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-2020-13/491 – Updated – measures in France
|Country||France , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 26 March 2020 – 30 September 2021|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Change of work arrangements (working time, rota schemes)
|Author||Frédéric Turlan (IRshare) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||11 April 2020 (updated 30 July 2021)|
In order to ensure the continuity of business activity, to avoid redundancies and to allow, at the end of the confinement imposed on the population, a restart of business activities, the government has adopted an ordinance which modifies the rules for taking paid leave and the days of leave acquired by employees in application of reduced working hours or within the framework of a time savings account. The ordinance contains also derogation to the daily (10 hours) and weekly (48 hours) maximum working time. These derogations from the Labour Code have been adopted through the Ordonnance No. 2020-323 of 25 March 2020, and can be implemented until 31 December 2020. The ordinance contains also measure about working time derogation in sectors considered as essential see Case FR-2020/13/490 .
In order to deal with the economic, financial and social consequences of the spread of COVID-19, the Ordinance provides that a collective company agreement or, failing that, a branch agreement, may:
Rest days related to working time reduction Apart from the derogations from the rules on paid leave set out above, which imply a collective agreement, the employer may impose (without the need for a collective agreement) or modify the taking of the other rest days (provided for in a collective agreement on the reduction of working time, provided for in an agreement on the organisation of working time or provided for in a lump-sum-day agreement which exists for employees whose actual working time cannot be determined). In addition, the employer may impose the taking of rest days placed in a time-saving account.
The Ordinance provides for two limits:
The employer, additionally, may set the dates of leave without taking into account the simultaneous leave entitlements of spouses employed in the same company. The employer may dissociate their leaves if the presence of only one of the two spouses is indispensable to the company, or if one of them has already exhausted his or her paid leave (normally the Labour Code provides that spouses or partners who are employees of the same company are entitled to simultaneous leave).
* Sunday rest The ordinance allows the employer (without collective agreement) to derogate to the Sunday rest. He is allowed to ask employees to work on Sunday. These derogations do not apply to all undertakings, however. They concern firms in sectors deemed essential to the continuity of economic life and national security (the list of which will be laid down by decree) and firms which provide the above mentioned with services necessary for the performance of their main activity. Provisions also apply to companies located in the departments of LaMoselle, Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin, which were hard hit by the COVID crisis.
Potentially, all the private sector employees.
Employees in standard employment
||Does not apply to businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Company / Companies
No special funding required
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||No involvement||No involvement|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
Due to the health emergency, social partners were not formally consulted on these measures (only informal consultation with some social partner). Social partners in the "essential services" were not demanding working time limits derogation.
The derogation measures related to paid leave have to be set by a sectoral collective agreement (negotiation within the framework of a bi-partite body with the representative social partners) or a company-level agreement with the trade unions.
For all other measures, the employer can take unilateral measures and have only to inform the works council.
Eurofound (2020), Derogation from the taking of leave and rest breaks, daily and weekly working time, measure FR-2020-13/491 (measures in France), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/FR-2020-13_491.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.