France & Employment Law: News Alert - March 2019

By Nathalie Devernay, Benjamine Fiedler

03-2019

Increased company obligations in force as of January 2019 -individual meetings with employees in France

France has increased training obligations for companies, including the obligation to hold an individual professional meeting with each employee to discuss their career evolution every two years, with sanctions for non-compliance.

Which companies?

All companies with employees in France.

What is the purpose and the frequency of this professional meeting?

A face-to-face, dedicated individual meeting must be organized every two years in order to address each employee’s career development prospects. This meeting is also mandatory for all employees returning from long-term sick leave, assignment abroad, maternity leave, part-time work or after expiry of a trade union representative mandate.

During this meeting, the employer will:

  • provide the employee with an update on his/her training rights,
  • inform them of the possibility to validate acquired experience (VAE scheme) and
  • inform them of their access to the employee’s personal training account (CPF) and their accumulated hours.

Every six years, this meeting should also include a summary of the employee’s career path and assess whether they have completed at least one training programme, acquired a certification through training or validated acquired experience, and if the employee has been promoted.

A specific document should be completed during the meeting and the employee should be given a copy.

Are there any sanctions?

For companies with more than 50 employees, non-compliance can trigger a penalty of EUR 3,000 per employee in the form of an additional training cost contribution. This penalty is also due if an employee has not been offered at least one skills development training opportunity every six years.

Summary of individual meeting requirements under French law

As a reminder, companies employing staff in France now need to organize and hold the following meetings:

Every year

  • Annual evaluation meeting (not mandatory but highly recommended to document performance)
  • Annual meeting(s) dedicated to working time and work-time balance (mandatory for employees working under an arrangement in days)
  • Individual meeting with home-based employees

Professional career meeting

  • Every 2 years
  • Whenever an employee returns from a long-term leave (e.g. maternity), an assignment abroad or a part-time work period
  •  Following a trade union representative mandate
  • Pre-staff representative mandate (at the employee’s request) and post-staff representative mandate (under certain conditions)

Every 6 years

In addition to the above;

  • a summary of the employee’s career path and assess whether they have completed at least one training programme, acquired a certification through training or validated acquired experience, and if the employee has been promoted.

Next steps to take

  • Check history of professional meetings for your employees
  • Ensure that you schedule a professional meeting in 2019 with all your employees who have not had one in the past 2 years or will be returning from maternity leave or long-term absence
  • Properly document the outcome of this meeting (specific document, separate from the annual evaluation meeting report)

Our team is here to help for any advice you may need in relation to these new obligations.