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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

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

Factsheet for case FR-2020-23/1160 – measures in France

Agreement on the protection of employees and social measures as part of the relaunch of activity at EDF SA

Accord sur la protection des salariés et aux mesures sociales dans le cadre de la relance de l’activité à EDF SA

Country France , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 June 2020 – 31 December 2020
Type Bipartite collective agreements
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Changes in work organisation
Author Frédéric Turlan (IRshare) and Eurofound
Case created 21 September 2020

Background information

As part of the continuation and relaunch of activity within the EDF energy group, 'and in particular the modalities of reprogramming until the end of 2020 the activities suspended during the health crisis' , EDF SA concluded an agreement on 3 June 2020 'relating to the protection of employees and social measures' .

Applicable until December 31, 2020, the text sets out the terms and conditions for the gradual return of employees to the site and guarantees the 'consistency' of the means of protection. In order to recognise the 'efforts and contribution of each individual' during the health crisis, it provides for the payment of a €400 bonus for all employees. The agreement was signed by four representative trade unions (CFDT, CFE-CGC, CGT and FO).

Content of measure

The aim of the agreement is to "support the relaunch of activity by preserving the balance between the need to fulfill missions, the interests of the company and the protection of employees" . In addition to measures organising the gradual return of employees to the workplace, the text aims to organise the management of leave and working time, to recognise the commitment of employees during the health crisis and to support those who find themselves in financial difficulty.

In addition, to take account of the lessons learned during the crisis, the signatories undertake to open collective bargaining by the end of 2020, aimed at 'improving work organisations and incorporating changes, particularly in terms of teleworking and work-life balance'.

Organising the gradual return of employees

With a view to enabling a gradual return of employees at all sites, the agreement lists 'common principles', which are to be taken up at divisional level, according to their specific features, and then applied at the level of each establishment. These relate in particular to organisational arrangements, such as widening the periods of arrival and departure on site, changing shifts, widening the periods of lunch breaks and defining catering arrangements, and maintaining home-working. Concerning teleworking, the decision will have to be taken taking into account the gradual return to the site (modulation of the number of days per week) and certain elements (local health situation, activity needs, public transport, etc.). In this respect, employees who do not already receive compensation for regular teleworking will exceptionally receive, for 2020, a flat-rate allowance of €100 gross to compensate for the costs incurred. In addition, to accompany the return to the site, "complete information" (guides, charters, videos and tutorials on barrier gestures, etc.) will be made available to employees.

Supporting work-study programmes

To support young people on work-study contracts, the agreement provides for:

  • the possibility, for apprentices who might find themselves in failure as a result of this situation, to repeat their year within the company;
  • an extension of contracts for apprentices whose schooling is extended due to the health crisis;
  • the maintenance of hiring commitments at the end of the work-study programme. In addition, 'as a matter of national solidarity', EDF 'will endeavour to respond favourably to a greater number of requests for work-study contracts for the start of the 2020 school year'.

Organising leave and working time

The company guarantees a minimum of two consecutive weeks of holidays between 15 June and 15 September. The summer holidays may be longer than these two weeks 'as long as the organisation of the activity allows it' . With regard to working time management, professional and managerial employees who benefit from a reduced forfait-jours (when their working time is calculated over the year in days) and wish to contribute more to the relaunch of activity, may, exceptionally, opt for a higher forfait-jours than their current one (i.e. they agree to work more).

Recognising employee commitment

Wishing 'to recognise the efforts and special mobilisation of EDF SA employees during the health crisis' , EDF will pay a €400 bonus (pro-rated according to paid working hours as of 31 May 2020) on the August payroll for all employees, excluding senior executives and managers, and employees whose employment contracts have been continuously suspended since 17 March 2020. Temporary workers will benefit from this bonus if they have been present from 17 March to 31 May 2020.

Accompanying employees in difficulty

In order to support employees 'who may find themselves in financial difficulty as a result of the health crisis and the period of confinement', the agreement provides in particular for the following measures:

  • the possibility, for 2020, of an additional "monetisation" of the time savings account for 210 hours or 30 days for employees with an annual lump-sum payment in days. Employees will have to request the conversion of their time on their time savings account into a bonus, before 1 October, so that it can be paid out over the same fiscal year 2020;
  • the option, for employees who have opted to invest their thirteenth month in their time savings account, to change their option and receive payment;
  • the possibility, for employees who have opted for part-time work with a three-year commitment and who are experiencing particular financial difficulties, to apply, until 31 December 2020, for temporary full-time reinstatement;
  • the payment of childcare costs for employees whose presence on site at the workplace is requested by the manager and whose one or more children cannot be accommodated in a school environment.

National solidarity

As part of national solidarity, EDF is setting up a scheme accessible to all employees enabling them to donate hours or days to some NGO.

Use of measure

The agreement applies to the whole French workforce of EDF SA. EDF SA employs about 65,000 people.


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

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Workers in non-standard forms of employment
Youth (18-25) in employment
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Social partners jointly
Trade unions
Company / Companies

Social partners

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

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

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

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


The agreement was signed by the four representative trade unions (CFDT, CFE-CGC, CGT and FO), representating 100% of the votes at the workplace elections.

Views and reactions

The trade unions supported the measures the have agreed.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      D - Electricity, Gas, Steam And Air Conditioning Supply D35 Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply

This case is not occupation-specific.


  • 03 June 2020: Accord du 3 juin 2020 relatif à la protection des salariés et aux mesures sociales dans le cadre de la relance de l’activité à EDF SA


Eurofound (2020), Agreement on the protection of employees and social measures as part of the relaunch of activity at EDF SA, case FR-2020-23/1160 (measures in France), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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