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-2020-27/1030 – Updated – measures in France
|Country||France , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 01 July 2020 – 30 June 2022|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Employment protection and retention
– Income support for people in employment (e.g., short-time work)
|Author||Frédéric Turlan (IRshare) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||04 August 2020 (updated 30 May 2022)|
From 1 July 2020, two short-time working scheme will coexist:
This factsheet deals exclusively with the second system.
A decree of 28 July set up the long-term partial activity scheme (APLD), designed by the government to 'take over' the partial unemployment scheme in place as a matter of urgency at the height of the health crisis. Intended for companies facing a lasting reduction in activity, it can be implemented either by a company, establishment or group agreement validated by the administration, or by a document drawn up by the employer - on the basis of an extended branch agreement - and approved. It will apply until 30 June 2022.
This temporary arrangement can be implemented until 30 June 2022. It complements the classic partial unemployment scheme (or "partial activity") which will be modified on 1 October 2020. An employer will not be able to combine the two schemes for the same employees over the same period.
A reduction in activity limited to 40% of the legal duration
The APLD makes it possible to reduce the activity of employees, within the limit of 40% of the legal working time. This reduction in activity is assessed for each employee concerned, over the period of application of the system provided for in the collective agreement or unilateral document: this assessment framework therefore makes it possible to envisage a temporary suspension of activity.
The 40% limit may be exceeded in exceptional cases resulting from the particular situation of the company, by decision of the administrative authority. However, the decree specifies that the limit may be exceeded only under the conditions laid down in the collective agreement and that the reduction in the working hours may not exceed 50 % of the legal duration.
A capped allowance for employees
As in the case of traditional partial activity, it is the employer who pays each employee placed in the APLD scheme directly an hourly allowance for partial activity, equal to 70 % of his gross remuneration serving as the basis for the holiday pay reduced to an hourly rate on the basis of the legal working time applicable in the company, or, where this is lower, on the basis of the collective working time or that stipulated in the employment contract. Employees therefore continue to benefit from the payment of 84% of their net salary.
However, the compensation is capped: the maximum remuneration taken into account for the calculation of the hourly allowance is in fact equal to 4.5 times the hourly rate of the minimum wage.
The partial activity allowance paid to employers
The employer receives a partial activity allowance, the hourly rate of which is equal for each employee concerned to:
It should be noted that the decree only covers the transmission of agreements: there is every reason to believe that the compensation rates will be the same for unilateral documents transmitted for approval before or as from 1 October 2020, and that the criterion to be taken into account is the date on which the application for approval or validation is sent. The hourly rate of the allowance is subject to a floor and may not be less than €7.23, with the exception of employees on apprenticeship or professionalization contracts.
The content of the collective agreement
Whether it is concluded at the level of the establishment, the undertaking, the group or the branch, the collective agreement setting up the long-term partial activity scheme must include a preamble presenting a diagnosis of the economic situation and business prospects of the establishment, the undertaking, the group or the branch. The agreement must then define:
Although the text does not expressly refer to it, the agreement must also lay down the conditions under which the 40% activity reduction limit may be exceeded: otherwise, such an overrun could not be authorised.
In June 2021, the last month for which estimates are available, 230,000 employees would have benefited from APLD (50,000 FTEs). The industrial sectors, in particular transport equipment manufacturing companies, account for half of the employees on APLD. Transport companies, especially air transport companies, account for about 20%.
Employees in standard employment
Workers in essential services
|Applies to all businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies||Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
Social partners were consulted on the content of the draft decree which was design by the government.
Globally social partners support this scheme.
Eurofound (2020), Long term short-working scheme, measure FR-2020-27/1030 (measures in France), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/FR-2020-27_1030.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.