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Factsheet for measure FR-2022-36/2846 Updated – measures in France

Encouraging branches to raise their minimum wages

Inciter les branches à relever leurs minima salariaux

Country France , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 September 2022
Context War in Ukraine
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category N/A
– Increasing income in general
Author Frédéric Turlan (IRshare) and Eurofound
Measure added 12 September 2022 (updated 28 February 2023)

Background information

Most sectors of activity, known as branches have a social dialogue that leads them to negotiate a collective agreement on working conditions applicable to their branch and wage agreements that will update the wage scales applicable to employees in the branch. As a result of automatic increases in the legal minimum wage (SMIC), many branches have wage scales in which one or more contractual minimums are below the SMIC. To encourage employers to revise these pay scales more quickly to bring them into line with the SMIC (with the aim of passing on an increase to the other levels of the pay scale), the government has decided on two measures: to reduce the deadline for branches to bring themselves into line with the SMIC and to decide to merge branches that have not negotiated sufficiently and have too many minima below the SMIC.

Content of measure

Accelerating adaptations The employers' organisation(s) of a branch now have 45 days (instead of three months) to start negotiations on wages when the agreed minimum wages are below the legal minimum wage (SMIC). There is also an accelerated extension procedure for wage agreements where there have been at least two automatic increase of the SMIC in the last 12 months.

Restructuring of branches For several years now, the Ministry of Labour has launched a process to "restructure" the professional branches in order to reduce their number. The aim is to reduce the number of branches from around 700 to 200 or even 150 in order to have branches that are large enough in terms of resources and number of employees to guarantee quality social dialogue. Thus, the inadequacy of negotiations to raise the agreed minimum to the level of the legal minimum wage could be the reason for the Ministry of Labour to initiate an administrative merger procedure with another branch.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

14 February 2023

A decree of 14 February 2023 specifies the terms and conditions of various measures provided for by law 2022-1158 of 17 August 2022, in terms of collective bargaining: extension of branch wage agreements, unilateral mergers of branches in the event of weak collective bargaining, securing profit-sharing agreements.

For example, the maximum duration of the extension procedure for branch wage agreements, when at least two revaluations of the legal minimum wage (SMIC) have taken place in the last 12 months preceding their conclusion, is set at two months from receipt of the extension request.

The decree specifies new criteria enabling the ministry of labour to launch a procedure to merge professional branches: the low number of agreements concluded within a branch must be assessed over the last two years; the appropriateness of triggering a merger procedure must be assessed in the light of the low number of topics covered in compulsory bargaining over the last three years; the absence of a meeting of the joint negotiating and interpretation committee in a branch may also lead to a merger decision.

The decree specifies the dematerialised procedure for drafting profit-sharing agreements, which makes it possible to generate agreements or unilateral decisions whose content is designed to ensure compliance with the legal texts in force. This is intended to encourage SMEs to set up such arrangements.

Use of measure

As it is a new measure, there is no data available.

Target groups

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

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Employers' organisations
No special funding required

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Sectoral or branch level


Soclal partners have been consulted.

Views and reactions

About all the measures adopted to increase the purchase power of workers, all the trade union organisations, and in particular the five representative trade union confederations and the organisations representing young people, denounced, in a declaration of 21 July, the legislative measures announced by the government, including the generalisation of profit sharing.

They consider 'that wages are part of the sharing of wealth' and they 'are unanimous on the fact that the priority issue must be to increase wages, pensions, minimum social benefits and student grants'. However, the trade unions denounce the fact that 'a succession of one-off measures, mainly financed by the State, cannot constitute a sufficient package to respond to the emergency'. Moreover, the trade unions and youth organisations point out that 'these exemptions and reductions in contributions are undermining our collective social protection system'.

On the employers' side, the measures presented by the government are better accepted. However, some employers' organisation denounced the new pressure to merge with other branches.


  • 21 July 2022: La préservation du pouvoir d’achat nécessite un meilleur partage de la richesse (
  • 16 August 2022: Loi n° 2022-1158 du 16 août 2022 portant mesures d'urgence pour la protection du pouvoir d'achat (
  • 14 February 2023: Décret n° 2023-98 du 14 février 2023 portant application des dispositions de la loi n° 2022-1158 du 16 août 2022 portant mesures d'urgence pour la protection du pouvoir d'achat en matière de négociation collective et d'épargne salariale (


Eurofound (2022), Encouraging branches to raise their minimum wages, measure FR-2022-36/2846 (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.