HR Policy Global

S01E23 - Decoding France: An Employee Relations Profile

Welcome to the Wild Side, a podcast that discusses the world of modern employee relations ten minutes at a time. This podcast is a short yet detailed overview of employee relations in France. In this episode, host Alan Wild discusses the important issue of consultation and the way the employment law in France has been changing in recent years. Alan is the Global Affairs Director of the HR Policy Association, the leading voice of chief human resources offices today.

The French economy is diversified across all sectors but oriented towards service-based businesses which make up about 70% of GDP. The French government still has full or partial ownership of many large companies and maintains a strong presence in some sectors. In 1982 bucking the trend of other developed nations, President Mitterrand ruptured with capitalism and increased a socialist influence into French businesses. That said, France is one of the most difficult countries in the world for Employee Relations professionals. particularly when it comes to making changes in workforce shape and size. France has recently witnessed major reforms in employment law designed to add flexibility in what was a very restrictive environment.

Key Takeaways: 

  • A brisk economic portrait. [1:55]
  • Essential information for Employee Relations Specialists working in France. [3:21]
  • How France differs from other countries with regard to company obligations. [4:59]
  • Significant Labor Code reforms since 2015 and Macron’s influence. [6:48]
  • French Trade Unions and collective bargaining agreements. [8:46]
  • How French law underpins collective bargaining. [12:15]
  • The CSE and the simplifications that followed. [14:02]