Institute of Global Law

French Legal News - Labour and Social Law

The 4 May 2004 Act, known as “loi Fillon”, was published on 5 May 2004 in the Journal officiel. New individual rights have been created: a right for each employee in a full-time job to claim 20 hours per year of training (or 120 hours over six years) and the possibility for young workers, between 16 and 25 years of age, as well as for unemployed people aged 26 and above, to be offered a training contract (partially exempting their employer from taxation on their salary), combining training for a professional qualification and work experience in the relevant field, in consideration of remuneration to be fixed at a later stage by government. The second part of the Act deals mainly with negotiations between employers and employees. Article 42 of the Act controversially allows firm agreements to depart – unless otherwise explicitly stated in the agreement negotiated at higher level – from agreements negotiated at a higher level, even to employees’ disadvantage.

On 4 May, the French Lower House adopted, with a few minor amendments, the text voted by the Upper House on 6 April relating to voluntary workers.

On 6 April 2004, the Upper House of the French Houses of Parliament adopted on first reading a proposal relating to the status of voluntary workers in French charity associations abroad. The status would rely on a written contract of limited duration – two years maximum – between an association and a voluntary worker. The association would be under the legal obligation to provide voluntary workers with training, pay for their travel expenses, and help them with plans to return to paid work at the end of their voluntary contract.

The Social Section of the Cour de cassation held on 6 April 2004 that employees with representative or trade unions mandates were entitled to make phone calls within the firm with the guarantee that their calls would not be intercepted.

According to the Social Section of the Cour de cassation’s decision of 7 April 2004, a medical statement confirming an employee’s pregnancy justifies the nullity of any redundancy proceedings instituted against her.

On 1/2 March 2004, legislative proposals to improve the lives of handicapped people had their first reading in the Upper House of the French Parliament. One of the key measures proposed is the introduction of new rights to financial support for special needs flowing from a handicap


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