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Cazeau & Associés’ Newsletter – December 2018

December 2018



  • NEWS: The new Economic and Social Committee, have you initiated your transition ?
  • FLASH NEWS : The project of a European business code is on its way !



The new Economic and Social Committee, have you initiated your transition ?

The year 2019 will mark the end of the employee representative committee (“comité d’entreprise”) and of the committee on hygiene, safety and working conditions (also known in France as the “CHSCT”). Indeed, at the latest by December 31, 2018, the representative bodies will have to be removed and replaced by an Economic and Social Committee.

This change was enshrined by the presidential Ordinance of September 22, 2017 related to predictability and securing working relationship. In total, 6 Ordinances came to adapt the mechanism and to prepare the transition toward the Economic and Social Committee.

Who is concerned ?

By January 1st, 2020, an Economic and Social Committee will have to be set up in each company counting more than 11 employees

This obligation applies to all employers from the private sector, irrespective of the legal form of their company, but also to public establishments with industrial and commercial purpose (also known as “EPIC”), and to public establishments hiring private-sector employees.

Which are the attributions of the Economic and Social Committee ?

The Economic and Social Committee aims to make sure that employees’ collective expression is well heard and that their interests among the company are considered. This is why the  Economic and Social Committee is composed by both the employer and the staff delegates.

The range of its attributions varies according to the size of the company (more or less than 50 employees).

Concerning companies hiring less than 50 employees, the Economic and Social Committee carries out most of the actual functions of the actual staff delegation. To that extent, the staff delegation, know incorporated into the Economic and Social Committee, must collect and present to the employer all the employees ‘complaints, whether individual or collective.

Since it also replaces the committee on hygiene, safety and working conditions, the Economic and Social Committee  has many prerogatives concerning healthy, security, and working relations issues. It must be fully aware of the risks employees are exposed to. It therefore has a monitoring power and is entitled to propose initiatives to improve working relations.

The Economic and Social Committee will also have many other attributions connected to the interventions of the labor Inspectorate, (complaints and observations) or regarding collective redundancy for economic reason.

Concerning companies hiring 50 employees or more, the Economic and Social Committee  will carry out all the missions described above, completed by others.

For those companies, the Economic and Social Committee will have reinforced powers of consultation and information as concerns management and general functioning of the company.

The Ordinance establishes a core of decisions for which there is no derogation. For the others, the consultation and/or the information may be subject to adjustments in the collective bargaining agreements or company-wide agreement.

Thus, for major decisions such as strategic orientations or social policy, the consultation is mandatory, and no derogation is permitted.

How the transition must unfold ?

All the concerned companies will have to implement the Economic and Social Committee by January 1st, 2020. The successive Ordinances have clarified the transition procedure according to the expiry date of the ongoing representation mandates.

Therefore, the companies which have concluded a pre-electoral protocol before September 23, 2017, will maintain their traditional modalities of election. Nonetheless, the ongoing mandates won’t extend beyond December 30, 2019.

In the absence of pre-electoral agreement, the mandates which expired between September 23, and December 30, 2017, could be extended for a one-year period.

As regard the mandates expiring during the year 2018, (between January first and December 31) the Ordinances granted the possibility to reduce or extend them for a maximum period of one year.

The legal texts has anticipated a last scenario concerning the mandates expiring during the year 2019, the Economic and Social Committee  will have to be created along with the renewal of one of the staff representative body (Employee representative committee, CHSCT, Staff delegates).

Finally, it shall be recalled that for large companies or large group of companies, an Economic and Social Committee shall be created for each establishment as soon as the company counts more than two establishments.

Which formalities ?

The Economic and Social Committee must be created by way of a collective bargaining agreement.

The first step is thus the negotiation step between the employer and the staff representative body.

Negotiation will have to cover  :

  • The number of establishments of the company
  • The formalities to carry out and the implementation schedule of the Economic and Social Committee
  • The election modalities concerning the members of the Economic and Social Committee
  • the areas of consultation and information (when it is not mandatory).

Once the agreement is concluded, the elections for the staff delegations will have to be set up.

The elections must take place 90 days after the information of the employee, the ballot being confidential and communicated in a envelop or by electronic way.

By default, the elections will be fixed every 4 years (traditional duration of a mandate)

The direction of the concerned companies must quickly consider initiating their transition toward the Economic and Social Committee.




The European business Code project is on its way !

Last November 21 a symposium took place in Brussels focusing on the European business Code,  in the presence of the president of the Paris bar ; an opportunity to return briefly on this awaited project.

European business Code is part of a unification strategy on the European legislations.

The stated goal is to promote business development in the Single Market.

The project was officially presented to the EU Parliament on October 13, 2016 and integrated to the EU white book entitled : “Horizon 2025” and is now on its long maturation process.

Many institutions of international private law are currently working on its redaction, such as the association Henri Capitant or the foundation for continental law.

For all that, the experience has demonstrated that, too often, concerning European law unification, there is much ado for nothing. Evidence of that, the common frame of reference, or the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Common European Sales Law In 2011.

Thought, the law firm Cazeau & Associés follows this matter with great interest.

To be continued then …



Within this section, you will find some pre-selected press releases prepared for you according to your native language.