November 2016 saw the publication of new decrees under the Macron law setting an indicative scale for indemnities payable in cases of dismissal without real and serious cause and in conciliation cases.

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The Macron Law of August 2015 provided the option for a Labor court judge to take account of an indicative scale when setting the amount of indemnity due to an employee dismissed without real or serious. This indemnity is payable in addition to any applicable legal, conventional or contractual indemnity due to the employee. A separate indicative scale has been provided in relation indemnities payable to settle out of court.

These indicative frameworks were published in separate decrees in November 2016

Recommended indemnity for unfair dismissal: The judge has a discretion as to whether or not to apply this indicative scale, except if required to do so by both the employer and the employee (Article L. 1235-1 of the French Labor code).

The framework sets the indemnity amount based on the employee's age, seniority and position vis a vis the labor market. The specified amounts increase as follows:

  • +1 month if the employee is 50 years old or older on the date of termination of employment; and
  • + 1 month for individuals who will face specific challenges in finding a new job given (i) the employee's personal situation and level of qualification; and (ii) in view of the local labor market and the labor marked in the employee's field of competence.

The indicative indemnity amounts vary from 1 month of salary (for employees with less than one full year of seniority) to 21.5 months of salary (for employees with at least 43 years of seniority).

It is important to note that Article L. 1235-3 of the labor code, which provides for companies employing 11 people or more to pay a mandatory minimum 6-month indemnity to employees with between 2 and 5 years of seniority remains in force. Both provisions therefore coexist.

Recommended conciliation indemnity for termination of the employment contract: November 2016 also saw the publication of another decree setting a revised indemnification scale which is intended to encourage conciliation. This lump sum indemnity varies from 2 months of salary (for employees with less than one year of seniority) to 24 months of salary (for employees with at least 30 years of seniority). The previous scale capped the indemnity at 14 months.