France: Measures enacted to simplify corporate life
The French Parliament on 18 December 2014 adopted a law simplifying corporate life, which empowers the government to take a range of measures to simplify social legislation by way of executive orders. The law includes a provision enabling the government to define the conditions under which an employee who has requested to work fewer than 24 hours per week may ask to increase their hours. The government order on procedures for applying the rules on part-time work was issued on 29 January 2015.
The law also enables the government to regulate the use of the so-called portage salarial scheme, which allows people to carry out assignments for different employers as employees (rather than as freelancers) through the intermediary of an umbrella agency. The executive order on the portage salarial was published on 3 April 2015. The law establishes the fixed-term contract for specific commissions (contrat à durée déterminée à objet défini), which underwent a trial period ending on 26 June 2014. This type of contract allows a professional, such as a consultant or engineer, to be employed for a period of 18 to 36 months in order to carry out a specific commission, subject to this being authorised by a collective agreement.