Editorial

2016: another busy year for employers !

After numerous employment law changes in 2015 (Macron law, Rebsamen law etc…), here is a reminder of the main obligations that employers should keep in mind in 2016.

What’s new in January 2016? 

Obligation to set up a professional meeting every two years 


As part of the legal reform of March 5 2014, employers now have the obligation to set up professional meetings with their  for employees who have with more than two years of seniority within the company in order to maintain their employability (article L. 6315-1 of French labor code). This meeting, which must take place with the employer every two years, must examine career prospects of employees, in particular in terms of qualification and employment. This meeting is not intended to be an evaluation of work performed. The first professional meeting should take place at the latest by March 7, 2016. This professional meeting must be recorded in a written document which should be remitted delivered to the employee.

If the employer does not comply with this obligation to set up a professional meeting every two years during the next six years, the employer may be required to pay a supplemental contribution to the statutory personal training account of the concerned employees, under certain conditions.

Change of the social security contributions regime for termination indemnities 

The Law for Social Security Financing for 2016 dated December 21, 2015 provides for a new social contribution scheme applicable to all employment termination (revocation) of a corporate officer role notified as from January 1, 2016.

Indemnities paid in the framework of a revocation from a corporate office are subject to social security contributions and CSG and CRDS from the first euro if this indemnity paid exceeds 5 annual social security thresholds (“Plafond Annuel de la Sécurité Sociale” or “PASS”), i.e., 193,080 euros for 2016. The threshold has been reduced from 10 to 5 PASS.

Concerning the indemnities for the termination of an employment agreement (generally, the dismissal indemnity and the settlement indemnity), in summary, they are subject to social security contributions and CSG and CRDS, as from 2 PASS and are entirely exempt for the amount of the indemnities between 0 and 77,232 euros. However, in the case where the total amount of the termination indemnities exceeds 10 PASS, i.e., 386,616 euros, while the exemption of social security contributions up until 2 PASS continues to apply but the employee will be required to pay an additional contribution equal to 8 % of CSG and CRDS on these 2 PASS, i.e., 77,232 euros.

Obligation to implement a supplementary health care scheme as from January 1, 2016

As from January 1, 2016, all companies are required to implement, for all their employees, a supplementary health care scheme with a minimal level of health care benefits.

The Law for Social Security Financing for 2016 provides that the employer is required to pay a minimum contribution equal to 50 % of the health care coverage cost. Collective bargaining agreements may provide for additional conditions.

In the absence of implementation of a health care scheme after January 1, 2016, companies not covered by a collective health care scheme as required by law, could (i) be ordered to pay damages to employees for their health care expenses, (ii) loose certain exemptions of social and fiscal contributions, and (iii) be subject to a reassessment by the Social Security authorities (“URSSAF”) if they have unduly benefited from exemptions.

Mandatory medical examinations: an obligation not to be taken lightly

The employer is required to make all necessary efforts to protect employees’ safety. Therefore, employers are required to organize mandatory medical examinations as required by law: a medical examination at the time of the hiring of each employee (before the end of the trial period) and a periodic medical examinations (every 24 months). In the event of failure to organize same, the employee necessarily suffers a prejudice and the employer would be required to pay damages in this respect.
 
Don’t forget Internal Regulations !

According to article L. 1311-2 of French Labor code, Internal Regulations are mandatory for all companies employing at least 20 employees. In the event of failure to implement same, the legal representative of company may be liable for a criminal fine (maximum fine of 750 euros for the employer; maximum fine of 3,750 euros for the legal entity).

In addition, the French Supreme court considers that a sanction can only be pronounced against an employee if it is provided in the company’s Internal Regulations (Cass. soc., October 26, 2010, n° 09-42740). Failure to provide for same would render the sanction is null and void. However in such a case, a termination for disciplinary/personal reasons remains possible, even in the absence of Internal Regulations since article L. 1231-1 of French Labor code provides the right by the employer to terminate an employment agreement.

Finally, note that internal notes and any other similar documents (codes of conduct, codes of ethics) providing general and permanent obligations in areas otherwise covered by Internal Regulations are considered as part of the same and must be appendixed to the Internal Regulations and their implementation must necessarily comply with the rules applicable to Internal Regulations (drafted in French, filing and posting requirements, etc.).

Number of the month

10

Is the number of RTT days which employees under a 218-day working time per year benefit from in 2016.

The Paris employment team wishes you a very happy and peaceful new year!