Less Working Hours Shall Not Mean Increased Pressure


In three recent decisions, the French civil Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation) has ruled that forfaits-jours agreements (lump sum payments for work time computed in days) are not valid if a union agreement does not provide for sufficient protection of the employee's health and safety. These decisions are of great interest to French employers for two reasons: the rejection of a forfaits-jours agreement can create substantial financial risk for an employer, and the cases are part of a legal trend to increase health and safety obligations on French employers.

Background -

In the year 2000, legal working time in France was reduced from 39 hours to 35 hours a week. Since then, the calculation of employees’ working time has been dependent upon each employee's position. Senior officers who work hours that cannot be controlled or pre-determined may enter into forfaits-jours agreements with their employers providing that their compensation will be disconnected from their actual working time and will constitute consideration for a flat number of days worked throughout the year (up to a maximum of 218 days).

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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