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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-2020-22/1159 – measures in France

New agreement within the Ariane-Group contains solidarity fund and other measures

Accord « relatif aux mesures mises en œuvre au sein d’Ariane-Group dans le cadre de l’épidémie Covid-19 »

Country France , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 29 May 2020 – 31 July 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Bipartite collective agreements
Category Employment protection and retention
– Working time and working time flexibility
Author Frédéric Turlan (IRshare) and Eurofound
Measure added 21 September 2020

Background information

Taking into account of 'the exceptional situation caused by COVID-19' , the management of ArianeGroup concluded an agreement on 29 May 2020 aimed at 'defining the modalities of implementation of the social measures mobilised during this period of crisis and its consequences' .

This text, signed with the CFDT, CFE-CGC and FO trade unions, notably sets up a solidarity fund to provide additional compensation for periods of short-time working scheduled until 31 July 2020. The text provides for other guarantees to support short-time working. It also provides for the return to work to be organised 'in successive waves, to ensure the best possible health conditions, with a maximum of two waves per week' . According to the group's main trade union organisation, the agreement allows employees to benefit from short-time working compensation close to 100% of their net pay instead of the legal 84% in the absence of an agreement.

Content of measure

Creation of a solidarity fund

In order to 'provide additional compensation to employees on short-time working who do not benefit from full maintenance of their net pay' , the agreement sets up a solidarity fund based on a principle of solidarity between the different categories of employees. Until 5 July, the fund will be fed via :

  • The deduction of one day's leave or rest for all employees, with the exception of those who worked on site on 19 and 20 March and those for whom Ariane-Group has requested to take rest days (resulting from the agreement on the reduction of working hours or time savings account) in May 2020.
  • The possibility for employees, 'including members of the management' to voluntarily pay for paid holidays. In the event that the solidarity fund turns out to be surplus, the signatories agree to pay the surplus into the solidarity fund set up under the agreement of 13 March 2020 on the quality of life at work and the prevention of psychosocial risks at the end of 2020.

Other guarantees

The agreement defines other measures to accompany the implementation of short-time working, namely:

  • the maintenance at 100% of the remuneration of employees on apprenticeship and professionalization contracts and the remuneration of trainees;
  • the neutralisation of the impact of partial activity for the calculation of disability-disability-death benefits, for the allocation and calculation of the annual bonus (13th month, average company month, annual allowance), the fixed and variable parts of the annual bonus for engineers and managers, and retirement and severance pay under the scheme applicable to employees exposed to asbestos;
  • the possibility, on an exceptional basis, of converting two days per month of the time savings account (CET) into cash, for the period March and April 2020;
  • the deferral of the periods for taking variable working hours. Acquired and unused recovery days acquired under this scheme and which expire between the end of March and the end of May 2020 may thus be taken or placed in the time savings account until 30 June 2020 at the latest.

Holiday arrangements

The agreement takes into account Order no. 2020-323 of 25 March 2020 see FR-2020-13/491 , which allows for the terms and conditions for taking paid holidays to be adapted. In this context, ArianeGroup states that it has imposed, for employees whose activity has not resumed after the period of partial unemployment or is again suspended, the taking of paid holidays:

  • a maximum of 10 working days allocated to the time savings account or, failing this, rest days linked to the reduction in working time (JRTT). *and five working days of paid holidays.

In any event, these arrangements must not prevent each employee from being entitled to a main leave of at least two consecutive weeks within the legal period for taking leave. In addition, employers must ensure that they encourage employees to take paid leave during the summer period in order to ensure that they have the right to take paid leave with their family, particularly when the employee is a family carer as defined in Article L. 3142-16 of the Labour Code.

Use of measure

The agreement applies to the whole employees of Ariane Group in France. The group employs 9,000 people in total in France and Germany. The breakdown is not available. Official sources estimate the number of employees in France from 2,000 to 4,999.


  • Health and safety
  • Income protection
  • Leave arrangements
  • Solidarity
  • Working time flexibility

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Social partners jointly
Trade unions
Company / Companies
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative Consulted
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Company level


Social partners have negotiated the agreement, that was signed by management and three of the four representative trade unions CFE-CGC, CFDT and FO. The three trade unions represent 78% of the votes at the last workplace elections.

Views and reactions

The three trade unions that have signed the agreement support the measures. The main trade union, CFE-CGC, regrets that Ariane Group does not participate enough financially. Nevertheless, the union appreciate the neutralisation at its expense of the negative consequences of the short-working time such as, for example, the amount of the annual bonuses, the retirement and asbestos severance payments, the complementary pension scheme AGIRC-ARRCO pension points, the supplementary pension, the variable financial participation.

The CFE-CGC welcomes that employees benefit from a short-time working compensation close to 100% of their net salary instead of the legal 84% in the absence of an agreement.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      C - Manufacturing C30 Manufacture of other transport equipment

This case is not occupation-specific.


  • 25 March 2020: Ordonnance no 2020-323 du 25 mars 2020 portant mesures d’urgence en matière de congés payés, de durée du travail et de jours de repos (
  • 29 May 2020: Accord du 29 mai 2020 relatif aux mesures mises en œuvre au sein d’ArianeGroup dans le acdre de l’épidémie Covid-19


Eurofound (2020), New agreement within the Ariane-Group contains solidarity fund and other measures, measure FR-2020-22/1159 (measures in France), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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