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Database of national-level policy measures

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-2022-36/2846 – 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 Responses to inflation
– Increasing income in general
Author Frédéric Turlan (IRshare) and Eurofound
Measure added 12 September 2022 (updated 17 September 2022)

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.

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

Involvement

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.

Sources

  • 21 July 2022: La préservation du pouvoir d’achat nécessite un meilleur partage de la richesse (www.cgt.fr)
  • 16 August 2022: Loi n° 2022-1158 du 16 août 2022 portant mesures d'urgence pour la protection du pouvoir d'achat (www.legifrance.gouv.fr)

Citation

Eurofound (2022), Encouraging branches to raise their minimum wages, measure FR-2022-36/2846 (measures in France), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/FR-2022-36_2846.html

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