Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron’s draft overhaul of the French Labor Code (“Macron reform”) promises to increase flexibility and reduce risk in French labor law, while strengthening workers’ rights. It is Macron’s hope that his reform will help combat high unemployment numbers and attract foreign business to France.

The Macron reform is comprised of five decrees. A decree (executive ordinance) is a constitutional device that enables the French government to effect change without a parliamentary debate or vote.

The Macron reform’s decrees are expected to be presented to the cabinet of ministers on September 22 and become effective at the end of September. They will be subject to parliamentary ratification thereafter.

The Macron reform aims to:

  • Reduce employment costs
  • Simplify the French Labor Code
  • Promote company collective bargaining agreements
  • Simplify employee representation
  • Promote equality
  • Improve labor litigation foreseeability