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What selection rules apply to dismissals in France?

Written by
Capstan Avocats, the law firm setting the benchmark for labour law in France.
This article explains the selection rules that apply to collective dismissals in France.

Under French law, a dismissal plan must target positions rather than individual employees, and criteria must be established to determine which employees will be dismissed.

When considering dismissal on economic grounds, the employer must divide the workforce into professional categories. These must be broader than specific positions and must group together employees who exercise similar functions, have had similar levels of training, and who may be substituted for each other after a short training period.

The employer must then apply the criteria for the order of dismissal. These are based on a points system created within the context of the dismissal plan that takes into consideration length of service, marital status, number of children, any disability, and professional skills.

When considering the dismissal of more than nine employees over a 30-day period, the organisation’s management is encouraged to negotiate the content of the professional categories and the point system described above with the representative trade unions. If these negotiations fail, the employer may set them unilaterally. The content of the points system is subject to the approval of the Labour Administration in both cases.

Jean-Benoît Cottin
Associate - France
Capstan Avocats