France - Law project: law on the recovery of profitable sites (Florange Law)

The law proposal aiming to renew prospects for the real economy and industrial employment was voted by the National Assembly on October 12013 and will be submitted to the Senate for approval on 11 December 2013.

The law plans to oblige groups of more than 1,000 employees, planning to close profitable industrial sites earmarked for closure, to seek out a buyer.

If the employer refuses recovery-offers that a judge considers serious, he will be subject to a maximum fine equal to 20 times the monthly minimum wage per job lost (28,600 Euros per employee).

The law text provides for the fine's ceiling to be equal to 2% of the company's turnover, in order to limit the impact on smaller Groups.

France - Instruction: reinforcement of DIRECCTE's control in mass layoffs for economic reasons

The Instruction dated 19 July 2013 (Instr. DGTEFP/DGT n°2013-13), which supplements the ministerial instruction of 26 June 2013, reaffirmed the goals set out by the law for the security of employment (please refer to the Legal and regulatory update - June 2013) of 14 June 2013 concerning the Administration's control of Job Protection Plans in layoffs. This Instruction is set out in four fact sheets intended for use by the DIRECCTE.

In the first two sheets, the Administration clarifies the implementation procedure for a Job Protection Plan as well as the DIRECCTE's involvement.

The other two sheets detail the consequences, in particular pertaining to litigation, of DIRECCTE's decisions and the specific provisions that can be applied to companies undergoing safeguard procedures, legal restructuring, or liquidation.

France - Circular: the conditions for exemption from social contributions regarding employer-funded supplementary health and retirement plans

A circular by the Social Security Directorate dated 5 September 2013 (Circ.DSS.SD5B/2013/344) specifies the conditions for exemption of social dues for the employer funding of supplementary health and retirement plans.

The favourable treatment, which leads to a tax assessment exemption, is however limited to plans that are "collective and mandatory". The "collective" criterion of the plan is specified by a list that creates and sets out employee categories.