Thursday, July 16, 2020

Coronavirus: 60 hours a week, holidays… the government is shaking up labor law

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It’s a record since 1958. This Wednesday, the government adopted in the Council of Ministers no less than 25 ordinances, three of which shake up labor law, deeply reforming the rights of the unemployed, working time, relations between employees and employers. Shock treatment for a crisis situation faced with the Covid-19 epidemic. Overview of the main measures.

Up to 60 hours of work per week in certain sectors. Objective: allow companies that are currently overheated to be able to make their employees work harder. Currently, an employee must not work more than 44 hours per week on average (over twelve consecutive weeks); now and until December 31, this limit may be raised for employees to 48 hours. In the same week, it will even be possible to employ labor for up to 60 hours.

“If it is occasional, for example for one or two weeks, volunteering is not required” specifies the ministry based on case law. In other words, in case of refusal the employee can be dismissed. On the other hand, “if it is a new organization of work that lasts one or two months, volunteering is required”, according to the entourage of Muriel Pénicaud.

This will only be possible in certain sectors, whose activity is currently considered by the government as “essential to the nation or to the continuity of economic life”. This is the case for example “of transport, logistics, agrifood, agriculture, energy, telecommunications”, specifies the entourage of the Minister of Labor, Muriel Pénicaud. The list of sectors concerned will be determined by a decree expected in the coming days.

Coronavirus: Muriel Pénicaud authorizes “60 hours per week” in certain trades

Companies that will operate 7 days a week. In these same strategic sectors, companies will have additional room for maneuver to make their teams work on Sunday, if the activity requires it, and this until December 31, 2020. But only voluntary employees will be able to be mobilized.

Paid leave: additional powers for the employer. “Thanks to a branch or company agreement, the employer can impose or defer the leave dates of its employees for a period not exceeding six days”, decipher Malik Douaoui and Véronique Child, lawyers specializing in labor law at Taj-Deloitte. However, the RTT and rest days allocated to the employee’s time savings account may be dictated or modified directly by the management, without collective agreement.

Coronavirus: Pénicaud will authorize “with agreement, to fix the dates of a week of holidays”

Extended aid for the most vulnerable. Unemployed workers who reach the end of their rights at the end of March will have their benefits extended until July 31. A measure which should make it possible to pass this difficult course when the possibilities of finding a job at present are reduced. “It’s a boost for their purchasing power,” says Malik Douaoui, lawyer at Taj-Deloitte.

A solidarity fund for small businesses. A solidarity fund of 1 billion euros – of which 250 million euros will be contributed by the regions – will be set up for small businesses. Insurance companies have also indicated that they will contribute € 200 million to the fund. Companies with less than 10 employees and whose annual turnover is less than one million euros, and which are also subject to either a closure measure or which have suffered a “very significant decrease »Of their turnover, according to Matignon will benefit. They will receive aid of 1,500 euros paid in early April.

Facilities in the event of sick leave. Currently, a million French people are on sick leave and among them, some 840,000 are to take care of children under the age of sixteen, according to the National Health Insurance Fund (Cnam). To allow them to be better compensated, the government is eliminating the waiting period – three days – and improving the conditions for compensation. “The additional compensation paid by the employer in the event of illness was conditioned on seniority in certain companies. The orders remove this condition, “said Malik Douaoui, at Taj-Deloitte.

Six more months for profit sharing and participation. Finally, it is a boost for companies – and a blow for employees. Under these orders, companies will have an additional six months to pay their employees the profit-sharing and participation sums due to them for the 2019 financial year of their activity. They can do so until December 31, 2020.

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