When Emmanuel Macron was campaigning, he said that if elected, he would revise French employment laws. It looks like President Macron will act on his promise.

On Tuesday, June 6, 2017, the French government issued its Program for the Renovation of the French Social Model.

The government announced that 6 reforms would be implemented within the next 18 months:

  1. Aligning employment goals with economic performance by adapting the current labor law to company needs
  2. Improving the purchasing power of employees by reducing certain employees’ social security contributions (effective on January 1, 2018)
  3. Efficiently strengthening professional training (effective in 2018)
  4. Granting unemployment benefits to independent contractors and employees who resign from their positions (effective as of the summer of 2018)
  5. Improving the apprenticeship program in order to increase job placements for workers under 25 years old
  6. Overhauling the current pension system (in 2018)

The French government indicated that the implementation of those reforms would be done in close cooperation with the national unions through a negotiation process including over 40 meetings scheduled between June of 2017 and August of 2017. 

The draft law is scheduled to be on the agenda of the government on June 28, 2017. The legislature will review and vote on the law during the summer of 2017, and the ordinances are to be published by the end of the summer of 2017.

The newly-formed government indicated that the dialogue with the unions will focus on three main areas:

  1. reconciling company-level agreements and branch collective bargaining agreements with a view to expanding company collective negotiation;
  2. simplifying the dialogue with the labor force (e.g., merging workers’ representative bodies within companies); and
  3. clarifying the work relationship both for employees and employers (e.g., by capping damages in the labor courts for unfair dismissals).

The final round of the legislative elections in France will be held on June 18, 2017, and the outcome of such elections will determine President Macron’s ability to make these ambitious changes to employment laws in France.


Browse More Insights

Glass globe representing international business and trade
Practice Group


Often, a company’s employment issues are not isolated to one state, country, or region of the world. Our Cross-Border Practice Group helps clients with matters worldwide—whether involving a single non-U.S. jurisdiction or dozens.

Learn more

Sign up to receive emails about new developments and upcoming programs.

Sign Up Now