06.04.2020Laurianne Hôo, Lisa Kolins, Myriam de Gaudusson, Patrick Thiébart

Alert Coronavirus n° 6 – FRANCE: new health emergency measures for employers

Five new ordinances have been published in the Official Gazette on 2nd April 2020 and entered into force as of that date. Implementing decrees are expected soon.

Below is an overview of the ordinances.


Ordinance No. 2020-389 on emergency measures applicable to employee-representative bodies

  • Ongoing professional elections are suspended :
    • as of 12th March 2020, or the date of the last completed electoral step, whichever is the later;
    • until 24th, August 2020* (three months after the contemplated end of the health emergency period);
    • the first round of the election is still valid if it took place before 2nd April 2020.
  • Professional elections scheduled between 2nd April and 24th May 2020* (24th May 2020 is the contemplated end of thehealth emergency period): the electoral process will have to be initiated after August 24th, 2020* (i.e. three months after the contemplated end of the health emergency period).
  • Mandates of elected staff representatives are extended until the end of the suspended or postponed electoral operations, i.e. until 24th August 2020*.
  • During the health emergency period, meetings with employee-representatives can take place through video conference, conference call or even instant messaging (if the use of video conference or conference call is not possible or if instant messaging use is is authorized by a company-wide agreement).
  • Emergency measures on working time (e.g. taking of compensatory rest days, working time increase, rest time decrease, Sunday work (see our Alert) may be implemented even before the opinion of the works council has been delivered.

Ordinance No. 2020-385 amending the deadline and the payment conditions of the exceptional bonus

  • Companies may pay this exceptional bonus, which is exempt from social security contributions and income tax, up to a maximum of 1,000 EUR;
  • In companies with a profit-sharing agreement, this exceptional bonus can be as high as 2,000 EUR;
  • Signing a derogatory profit-sharing agreement and paying the exceptional bonus can be made until 31st August 2020 (instead of 30th June).

Ordinance No. 2020-386 on the missions carried out by occupational health services and amending short-time working applications

The provisions of this ordinance shall apply until at a date to be set by an upcoming decree and no later than 31st August 2020.

  • The occupational physicians may prescribe and renew employee’s sick leaves in the event of infection or suspected infection with Covid-19. Occupational physicians may carry out screening tests for Covid-19;
  • Hiring check-ups by occupational physicians can be postponed, unless check-ups are deemed essential by occupational physicians. The postponement of hiring check-ups does not preclude hiring and back to work processes.

Ordinance No. 2020-388 on the postponement of the elections to measure unions’ audience in companies with less than 11 employees and the extension of the mandates of judges in labour courts and members of regional inter-professional joint commissions

  • Elections aimed at measuring unions’ audience in companies with less than 11 employees are postponed to the first half of 2021;
  • Renewal of members sitting on regional inter-professional joint commissions are postponed until December 31st, 2021 at the latest;
  • Elections of judges in labour courts are postponed until December 31st, 2022 at the latest.

Ordinance No. 2020-387 on emergency measures for professional training

This ordinance postpones several professional training dates:

  • Professional career interviews are postponed until 31st December 2020;
  • Employers are exempted from contributing to employees’ personal training accounts (“CPF”) between 12th March and 31st December 2020, even if employees did not get professional career interviews or any training session over the past 6 years;
  • Apprenticeship and professionalization contracts may be extended under certain conditions.

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For more information on the above, feel free to contact Franklin.

We will continue to inform you of any additional measures that could impact your business during the covid-19 pandemic.

*The date of suspension of the electoral process may change in case of extension of the health emergency period.