WORKFORCE DELEGATE

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FRANCE
DÉLÉGUÉ DU PERSONNEL
WORKFORCE DELEGATE

Person elected by all of the employees of an establishment (whether union members or not, and therefore not to be translated as "shop steward") to a recognized office which consists in presenting individual and collective grievances to management and bringing to the attention of the Labour Inspectorate any complaints or comments in connection with the regulations for whose enforcement the Inspectorate is responsible. A very recent Law invests the workforce delegate with the authority, in cases of infringement of the rights and freedoms of individuals, to request the employer to take corrective action and, should it then become necessary, to bring the matter before an Industrial Tribunal . Nowadays, this form of workforce representation is required by law in all enterprises or establishments with 10 or more employees. Its origins are complex, since it is simultaneously an extension of the historical practice of delegates chosen by and from among the employees of an enterprise to speak on their behalf in dealings with management, the historical institution of miners' delegates (who were originally responsible for health and safety), the institution of workplace delegates ("délégués d'atelier") first created in the public sector during the First World War, and the demand for workers' control which, in some of its aspects, the Popular Front Government of 1936 sought to satisfy. The regulations currently governing the election, functions, means of action and protection of these delegates date from 1946 and 1982.

This is the most widespread form of employee representation in France; its legitimacy is very firmly founded, even though the powers and responsibilities of workforce delegates are limited in comparison with those of the works councils and trade union delegates .


Please note: the European industrial relations glossaries were compiled between 1991 and 2003 and are not updated. For current material see the European industrial relations dictionary.