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France: Industrial relations

Original and updating author: Mark Carley

Consultant editors: Maxime Pigeon and Apolline De Noailly, Osborne Clarke

Summary

  • Employees are free to form trade unions and join unions of their choice, and may not be expelled from a union on discriminatory grounds. (See Trade unions)
  • Sector-level collective agreements exist in almost all industries and there are various rules regarding collective bargaining. (See Collective bargaining)
  • All companies with at least 50 employees must set up a works council, for which there are various rules. (See Informing and consulting employees - general)
  • Redundancy information and consultation obligations on employers vary with the scale of planned redundancies. (See Informing and consulting prior to redundancies)
  • A works council has the right to be informed and consulted on changes to the company's economic or legal structure. (See Informing and consulting prior to transfers)
  • "Community-scale" undertakings must, in certain circumstances, establish a body to negotiate with management over the establishment of a European Works Council or an information and consultation procedure. (See European Works Councils)
  • Individuals have a constitutional right to strike, but must exercise it collectively and in accordance with certain rules. (See Industrial action and picketing)
  • Employees are entitled to be represented on the boards of companies, or groups of companies, in certain circumstances. (See Board-level employee representation)