France : EIRO CAR on “The effect of the Information and Consultation Directive on Industrial Relations in the EU Member States five years after its transposition

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Participation at work,
  • Labour and social regulation,
  • Industrial relations,
  • Published on: 18 January 2011



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Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

The framework directive on information and consultation had, in legal terms, no real impact in France. However this text is one of a number of influences which have led to a gradual change in the role of I/C bodies. The declared objective of the directive is to ensure that employee representatives are consulted with a view to reaching an agreement and this represents an incremental change in French industrial relations . The economic and financial crisis has increased the requirement for I&C bodies and has led to an increase in their numbers. This is due in part to employers seeking to introduce flexibility to improve competitiveness and requiring a partnership to achieve this. There is an awareness by the French social partners that a willingness to engage on important issues, for example the modernisation of social dialogue, could lead to a strengthening of the role of staff representatives.

Question 1: Trends in the incidence of undertaking- and/or establishment-level information and consultation bodies

(a) Using official statistics where possible, please provide annual data for the years 2005-2009 (inclusive) on the number and proportion (%) of undertakings and/or establishments which have an information and consultation (I&C) body or equivalent.

There is no data available for this period. In the last survey REPONSE (2004-2005) 72% of the undertakings with more than 20 employees had a least one delegate from the workplace representatives (“délégués du personnel”) or a single body (“Délégation unique du personnel”, which amalgamates both workplace representatives and Works Councils in undertakings of less than 200 employees) and 46% had a works council (“comité d’entreprise”, “comité d’établissement” or a “délégation unique du personnel”).

(b) Where possible, please provide data to show trends in the uptake of I&C bodies by:

(i) size of undertakings/establishments in terms of employment levels (i.e. under 50 employees, 50-99 employees, 100-199 employees; 200-499 employees, 500 or more employees or other appropriate size bands used in national statistics)

Undertakings with 20 employees or more, have either a works council (“comité d’entreprise”), workplace representatives (“délégués du personnel”) – or single body (“Délégation unique du personnel”) – and a health and safety committee (CHSCT), in terms of workforce. Trends between the two last “reponse” survey 1998/1999 and 2004/2005.

Size of undertakings/establishments in terms of employment levels
 

Delegate or single body

Works council or single body

Heath and Safety Committee

Number of employees

98/99

04/05

98/99

04/05

98/99

04/05

20-49

57

63

25

26

15

17

50-99

74

83

70

72

54

59

100-199

84

92

88

90

82

84

200-499

93

93

93

95

96

96

+ 500

97

96

95

96

96

96

+ 50

80

87

79

81

69

72

Total

65

72

44

46

34

37

Sources : Dares, Première information, Février 2007, n°05.1, results from the “reponse” survey launch in 2004/2005.

(ii) sector (broadly defined, i.e. industry/manufacturing, private services, public services).

Undertakings with 20 employees or more, having at least one workplace representatives “(délégués du personnel”) or single body (“Délégation unique du personnel”) – and at least one I&C body elected (workplace representatives, works council, single body, heath and safety committee) or nominated - shop steward /(“ délégué syndical”) -, as defined by sector. Trends between the two last “reponse” survey 1998/1999 and 2004/2005.

Size of undertakings/establishments in terms of sectors

Sectors

At least one delegate or a single body

At least one I&C body

 

98/99

04/05

98/99

04/05

Industry

68

77

75

81

Building

59

63

69

67

Services

65

71

74

77

Total

65

72

74

77

Sources : Dares, Première information, Février 2007, n°05.1, results from the “reponse” survey launch in 2004/2005.

(c) Please provide information on the extent of I&C arrangements in:

(i)smaller undertakings (those with fewer than 50 employees)

One third of undertakings who should have an I&C body, do not. But the trend is positive: 63% of undertakings with more than 20 employees and less than 50, had an I/C body in 2004/2005, an increase from 57% in 1998/1999 (Dares – Premières syntheses, février 2007, n° 05.1). Small companies - under 200 employees - have the right to merge (since 1993) workplace representatives (“délégué du personnel”) and works council (“comité d’entreprise”) into a “single body” (“delegation unique”). This option is popular: 28% of the undertakings from 50 to 199 employees have created a single body (21% in 1998/1999, Dares – Premières syntheses, février 2007, n° 05.1).

(ii) public administration.

(d) What factors explain any increase/decrease in the incidence of I&C bodies (e.g. economic climate, legislative change, other)?

The REPONSE survey 2004-2005 show an increase of I&C bodies : 77% of undertakings with more than 20 employees were covered by an I&C body in 2004-2005, up from 74% in 1998-1999. These undertakings employed 90% of the workforce (of undertakings with more than 20 employees) in 2004-2005, up from 88% six year before (Dares – Premières syntheses, février 2007, n° 05.1).

Following the results of the REPONSE survey 2004-2005 two possible explanations can be given for this increase:

- The institutions where social relations are formalised gradually replace those where the management of employees was previously based on an interpersonal basis. There is a greater number of undertakings who are dependent on targets set by parent companies or their headquarters. The managers in charge of HR are rather professional specialised in HR less the owner of the company who manage himself it employees. They are more aware on management of I/C bodies.

- An other explanation is that the legal framework increased the role of negotiations at the level of undertaking. For example, to reduce the working time with state support or to create system of financial participation for employees, employers have to sign a collective agreement with trade unions or in some cases, with an I/C body. This means that employers have to discuss the issue of I&C with trade unions and that unions will put pressure on employers to implemented an I/C body at the level of the undertaking.

Question 2: Procedures for establishing I&C bodies

(a) What are the procedures for establishing I&C bodies in your country? For example, are I&C bodies mandatory (i.e. employers are obliged by law to establish them), or is their establishment dependent on employees/trade unions triggering statutory procedures? In the latter case, who can initiate the procedure? Is there a specified level of employee support required?

In France there are two types of bodies for worker participation – Employee Delegates (DP) or the Works Council (CE). Only the latter comes within the scope of Directive 2002/14/EC. However both are generally separate but in smaller companies (employing less than 200 workers) the employer can decide to amalgamate the two into a single body (DUP) and this has been the case since 1993.

There is a legal requirement placed upon employers in France with more than 50 workers to establish a Works Council or ‘Comité d’Entreprise’ on which elected representatives and trade union representatives sit.

Due to the relatively low trade union membership in France, smaller companies are less likely to establish a Works Council. The recent reforms to the ‘representativeness of trade unions’ and their potential subsequent impact on trade unions’ legal legitimacy will be felt over the coming years. This may mean that there could be a reduction in the number of trade union delegates within the information and consultation body.

The most recent report on participation within the French workforce, (Les Elections Aux Comites d’entreprises en 2005-2006 – DARES http://www.travail-solidarite.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/2008.10-40.3.pdf) demonstrates that the participation in the election of the Works Councils fell from 66.2% in 1995/6 to 63.8 in 2005/6. However it also shows that non union representatives increased their share of the vote by 0.3 per cent in the same period and this figure was more marked in companies employing less than 100 workers - probably due to the increased presence of trade unions in larger companies.

(b) Please supply any available data on the extent to which I&C bodies have been:

(i) requested by employees(ii) requested by trade unions(iii) initiated unilaterally by employers.

No data available

(c) Have the national government and/or the social partners in your country actively promoted the establishment of I&C bodies? If so, how have they done this?

During the past five years the government has not formally promoted I/C bodies. However there is always pressure from trade unions to create I/C bodies in undertakings where none exist: almost 20% of undertakings with more than 50 employees do not have a works council, despite it being mandatory by law.

(d) What explains the absence of I&C bodies in some undertakings/establishments in which I&C bodies are supposedly mandatory or the statutory right to trigger their introduction applies ?

Even if the creation of I&C bodies is a legal requirement in undertakings with 11 or more employees (they have to elect delegates – délégué du personnel), one third of these undertakings had no I&C bodies in 2004/2005 (Dares – Premières syntheses, février 2007, n° 05.1). There is no recent data available but the situation could well be the same in 2010. The reasons which are given in the Reponse survey of 2004/2005 are the following :

  1. There is an insufficient number of workers who wish to volunteer to be a Delegate.
  2. Some employers are afraid to launch an election after which they must formally discuss issues with a I&C body. The management of undertakings without I&C bodies consider that workers are able to defend their own interest directly (95%, instead of 90% in the undertakings with an I&C body).
  3. Some employers fear that an election will introduce a union into the undertaking, which worries them. 43.2% of them think that unions disrupt their business (Dares, Premières Synthèses, Septembre 2006; 39.1)

Question 3: Constitutional provisions

(a) Are the structure, rights and functioning of I&C bodies in your country determined by:

(i) statutory requirements that apply to all establishments/undertakings(ii) organisation-specific agreements/arrangements that may differ from the statutory provisions, providing the scope for organisations to vary the design of the I&C body and the processes of information provision and consultation(iii) a mixture of the two.

If the employer employs less than 11 workers, then there is no legal obligation on them to do anything. If they employ more than 10 workers, the employer is obliged to establish a Délégués du personnel (DP). If the company employs more than 50 workers they are obliged by the law to establish a Comité d’entreprise (CE). However if the employer has less than 200 workers he can decide to establish, after consultation with staff representatives, a Délégation unique du personnel (DUP). This does not replace the Works Council but assimilates both the CE and DP under one body, which performs the tasks of both by those elected.

(b) To what extent can and do organisation-specific agreements/arrangements differ from national statutory requirements on I&C? What motivates the parties to introduce such agreements/arrangements? Please summarise any available data on the provisions of organisation-specific agreements/arrangements.

In general, French law does not allow for a reduction in rights given by the law, event through a collective agreement and this is the case for I/C bodies. This means that agreements can differ from national statutory requirements, but they can only do this by creating more favourable conditions for workers..

The only legal possibility for an I&C body to differ from the statutory provisions is by the merger between a European Works Council (EWC) and a Group Committee (“Comité de groupe”), by agreement with the social partners. This happened in the case of the car manufacturer Renault who created a EWC in 1993, and subsequently merged it with the French Group Committee by a new agreement on October 27, 2000, creating the “Comité de groupe Renault”. A merger of this type combines the power of the “Comité de groupe” with the power of the EWC. This means for example that where a EWC has no right to nominate an accountancy expert, the Group Committee, with the additional powers of the Works Council does.

There is no data on the adaptation of I/C bodies, but in a number of undertakings, mainly in large companies, the social partners have signed agreements:

1st - To adapt the I/C bodies to the structure (sometimes temporarily in case of a merger, for example) or the activities of the group.

In 2006, management representatives of the insurance group Scor and employee representatives formed a special negotiation body (SNB) and concluded three agreements on employee involvement within the European Companies (SE): Scor Global P & C SE, Scor Global Life SE and SCOR SE. These agreements established a joint committee of all three SEs but there is no legal requirement to do so.

Trade unions and the bank Credit Lyonnais signed an agreement establishing a consultative committee which acts as a forum for dialogue and exchange to support the merger between the two banks Credit Lyonnais and Credit Agricole. This agreement had been concluded for a specified period and ceased to have effect 15 months later.

Following the agreement establishing the TotalFinaElf (now Total) group committee, the representative trade unions at the national level and management signed a framework agreement to establish a representative body called the "Convention Committee branch" for petroleum activities on the one hand, and activities related to chemistry on the other. The Conventional Branch Committee met the representatives of employees and union representatives of French companies in the group belonging to the same branch of activity. According to the agreement, “this body can not replace the existing and legal I/C bodies”.

2nd - to increase the strength of I/C bodies. Some examples are:

BNP Paribas and the CFDT and CFE-CGC unions signed an agreement in January 2010 on social dialogue and employee representative bodies. According to the preamble, the agreement "formalises for the first time in a single text the rules on trade union rights” and all I/C bodies that contribute to social dialogue. It defines the powers and means of the central Works Council, the Works Councils and employee and union representatives.

EADS signed an agreement in 2002, on trade union rights and social dialogue which gave more “credit time” to the employee representatives of the “national EWCs” than the statutory provisions required.

(c) Are the terms of organisation-specific agreements/arrangements enforceable? What procedures – e.g. complaint to external administrative or judicial authorities (please specify which) – are available for this purpose?

Undertaking agreements to adapt the I/C bodies are, as with all collective agreements, binding. This allows the signatories to the agreement to go to court in the case of a breach. Employers have to respect the commitments included in these agreements, even if this agreement goes further than the law requires.

Question 4: The main subjects for I&C

(a) What types of information are regularly provided by senior management to I&C bodies? Please give examples?

In practice, employers have to present general economic information on the business including the patterns and trends sales, any backlog in work, employment prospects and outcomes of Works Council meetings. They will also report the level of employment and in particular the use of temporary workers and workers on fixed term contracts. Similarly, information is issued when a project is deemed as having a direct or indirect impact on work organization and work: setting up a new manufacturing process, automation, technical developments etc.. The objective is to allow staff representatives to gain an understanding of the economic situation of the company and to better understand the decisions that are taken and presented to them.

(b) What issues are typically the subject of consultation between management and employee representatives? Please give examples.

In general, employee representatives ask questions on the use of temporary workers and fixed term contracts (one of their aims is to get temporary or fixed term workers onto permanent contracts) and on the organisation of the work: working time, internal procedures (“règlement intérieur”) or changes to an area of work which then affects another division of the undertaking or when there is a proposal to introduce a new area of work or activity.

(c) What issues are typically raised by employee representatives themselves? Please give examples.

In general, employee representatives ask questions on the use of temporary workers and fixed term contracts (one of their aims is to get temporary or fixed term workers onto permanent contracts) and on the organisation of the work: working time, internal procedures (“règlement intérieur”) or change to an area of work which then affects another division of the undertaking or when there is a proposal to introduce a new area of work or activity

(d) Since the onset of the recession, to what extent have I&C bodies been a vehicle for dialogue and consultation over management decisions concerning restructuring and recession-related developments? Please provide a general overview with evidence and examples.

In general, to introduce changes, employers have to inform, to consult and often to negotiate with employee representatives. It is of course this has been a necessity throughout the crises and many undertakings have had to inform and consult their I/C bodies. For example, when they stop using temporary workers or fixed term contracts, or when they introduce part-time unemployment. During the crisis many employers discovered that strong social dialogue with good I/C, in particular established prior to the crisis which has already created a good relationship, can help businesses to overcome economic difficulties. I&C will certainly have an influence on the future negotiations launched by the social partners to reform I/C bodies (see, last question).

Question 5: The nature and extent of the I&C process

(a) How often do I&C bodies typically meet with management? Is it common practice for special meetings of the I&C body to be called to consider urgent or important matters? If so, on what issues?

Those I/C bodies meeting more than once a month are a minority: one undertaking in three for workplace representatives (délégués du personnel) (legally, they must hold a meeting every month), one undertaking in two for Works Councils (legally, it must hold a meeting every month in undertakings with 150 workers or more, and every two months in undertakings with less than 150 workers). In nine out of ten undertakings the Work Council had at least six meetings per year in 2004. It is the same for the workplace representative - in seven of ten undertakings. (Dares, Premières synthèses, février 2007, n° 05.1).

In extraordinary circumstances a meeting can be held. It happens of course in the case of restructuring. Employers generally announce they want to reduce the workforce during an extraordinary meeting of the works council. In the case of restructuring, as the information and consultation process is complicated, it is common for the social partners to conclude a “method agreement” to arrange the schedule of the process with regular meetings between management and I/C bodies. In this case, the number of meetings increase compared with a “normal” period without restructuring. Nearly 278 “agreements of method” were recorded between 18 January 2005 and December 31, 2006, by the Department of Labour, Employment and Vocational Training (DDTEFP) from the Ministry of Labour. 55.7% of agreements involve businesses with fewer than 500 employees. These agreements increase the capability of employee representatives, by giving them longer periods in which to read documents in advance of the committee meetings or with the holding of preparatory meetings before plenary meetings, or the possibility to use an expert.

An extraordinary meeting must be held in the case of a takeover bid on a company: the employer of the "target" company and the employer making the offer should immediately convene their respective Works Council to inform them of the offer. (Article. L. 2323-25 of the Labour Code).

(b) How does consultation take place? For example, is information on proposed changes provided by management so that employee representatives can prepare a considered view? Do managers provide a reasoned response to employee representatives’ opinions? Examples of good and poor practice would be helpful.

In general, employers give due information before the meeting of the Works Council, so that representatives are aware of the subject matter. In practice, employers often give the information when the meeting starts. When they provide enough and clear information, the Works Council can offer its opinion during the meeting. If this is not the case, the employer must wait until the next meeting, or hold an extraordinary meeting, to give representatives enough time to consider the information. Anyway, for all mandatory consultation procedure, employers have to receive a position (un “avis”)of the Works Council, regardless whether the position is positive or negative. This means that they have to explain sufficiently any proposals to the representatives. When the Works Council offers its position, the employer must always give a reasonable response.

(c) Is information usually provided on a confidential basis to the I&C body before management decisions are taken and announced? Are there examples of I&C not taking place due to confidentiality considerations?

An employee representative is, in practice, not binding by confidential information and he can inform the workforce if he wants. If there is good trust between management and representatives, they are more likely to treat confidential information sensitively.

(d) Please outline what guarantees and protections employee representatives usually have, e.g. time off work, training, material and financial resources, facilities, protection against dismissal/ discrimination, access to workers.

On a legal basis, protection against dismissal or discrimination are contained within the Labour Code. Some large undertakings improve these rights by collective agreements, for example by establishing a procedure for the use of the internet and mails, or to increase the training opportunities for representatives.

In practice, “a majority of employee representatives had adequate means to undertake their role”, observed Dares in the REPONSE survey (Dares, Premières Synthèses, février 2007, 05.1). 70% of Works Councils had a specific area set aside where employee representatives can meet, and speak, with workers. A large majority of representatives (84%) indicate that it is easy to get in touch with other employees. In almost all institutions, the elected works council can provide information on a bulletin board accessible by the majority of employees; only 9% of those interviewed said they could not access to the billboard.

The incidence of the use of mail, internet or intranet continues to grow, but the latest figures from the RESPONSE survey of 2004 are already out of date: in more than a half of all undertakings, staff representatives state that they do not have access to one of these modes of communication in the context of their role. In six years the situation has certainly evolved, and several large companies have signed agreements to regulate the use of staff representatives in relation to these new technologies. The law of May 4, 2004, on « lifelong learning and social dialogue » strengthens collective bargaining on this subject by allowing unions to disseminate information on the intranet or by email.

(e) Can employee representatives seek external advice on how to handle difficult topics for consultation (e.g. from trade unions, external consultants)? In the case of the latter, who pays?

In order to analyse the information and documentation given to them by their employer ahead of consultation, the Works Council is permitted access to:

  • - an accountant (“expert comptable”) paid for by the company;
  • - a technology expert paid for by the company if there is an important project for the introduction of new technologies in companies with more than 300 employees;
  • - an expert specialising in one area for which the EC is seeking assistance (commercial, legal ...) and this paid by the committee in its operating budget.

Question 6: Practical outcomes of consultation

(a) What evidence is there, if any, of the consultation process resulting in the modification of management decisions and/or the process or timetable for their implementation? Please give an overview of the impact of consultation with examples.

There is no study or data on this point. But in practice, employers try to allow a space when they begin consulting so that employee representatives can have an influence on the final decision.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that decisions around vocational training and redundancies are more frequently influenced. For example, an employer wanted to offer training to the higher skilled employees in the company and the workplace representatives successfully argued that training should also be given to those without lower skills. Another example is where the employer had proposed to make redundancies and workplace representatives influenced the overall number of redundancies that eventually take place.

(b) How many complaints per year concerning the operation of I&C procedures (e.g. employers not consulting in circumstances where consultation is obligatory) have been lodged with administrative or judicial authorities since 2005? Who were the claimants and what were the key issues? What proportion of these applications were upheld? What sanctions were imposed?

There are less statistics available on this topic since 2005. The last report from the Ministry of Justice (Annuaire statistique de la justice 2009) reveals the figures for the period 2002-2006. The number of judgements against employers who had restricted the role of employee representatives (“délit d’entrave”) is around a hundred each year from 2002 to 2006 (99 in 2002, 63 in 2003, 102 in 2004, 95 in 2005, 104 in 2006). Another report from the Ministry of Justice (“Les condamnations – année 2008”) shows that in 2008 there were 92 judgements, 25 pronounced by Court of appeal (“Cour d’appel”) and 69 by first level court (“Tribunal correctionnel”). To give a comparison, the total of sentences on Labour and social security matters rose to 6,835 for the same year with a high majority of the judgements relating to illegal work (5374). When employers are punished, it is mostly with a fine (75) but sometimes with a prison term (4) even if it is always a suspended sentence. The average amount of fine was 1,953 Euro in 2008. In general, the claimants are the I/C bodies: the works council itself (the works council has a legal status) or the workplace representative.

To summarise, litigation is not commonplace. But the threat of taking an employer to court is a common “weapon” for employee representatives. For example, if collective bargaining over wages becomes difficult, representatives can find a topic on which their employer has not consulted and threaten to go to court.. Employers don’t like appearing in court for this type of allegation, in particular due to the fact that they will sit in the court with people who are charged with criminal offences, such as theft or driving under the influence of alcohol. An other explanation is that the procedure for being granted a hearing is long (40 months before sentencing of the first level court) and that the social partners in general find an arrangement before the legal process has been initiated or immediately after.

Question 7: Relationship between I&C bodies and other forms of employee voice

(a) Can, and if so do, trade unions play a part in the establishment of I&C bodies and in their operation? Do external trade union officers often sit on I&C bodies? How common is it for I&C bodies to include both union and non-union employee representatives?

Legally, representative unions in the undertaking are allowed a seat for one member in the Works Council. A Works Council can invite, as an expert, an external trade union officer and it is regular in large company.

(b) Is there any overlap between the remit of I&C bodies and trade union-based collective bargaining? If so, how are such issues resolved?

Legally each I/C body has its own function. Workplace representatives manage individual or collective claims, the representatives in the works council manages social and cultural activities, and they are informed and consulted on the “marche générale” of the undertaking; Trade union delegates represent workers for collective bargaining. “In practice, the actions of the staff representatives are very close », says the Dares (Dares, Premières Synthèses, février 2007, 05.1), when workplace representatives and members of Works Councils coexist in the same undertaking, they often share the same agenda. Beyond their specific roles, employee representatives often work closely together when they are not the same person: there is a tendency for the mandates of these two roles to overlap.

In undertakings with one or more union delegates (délégué syndical), they are the main actors who bargain with management over wages. They participate in these negotiations in 83% of undertakings and tend to sign the majority of agreements. However, although this is not their prerogative, elected employee representatives also participate. This was the case in one undertaking in two in 2004-2005. In the absence of a union delegate, the signing of an agreement is assigned either to an elected representative (a workplace representative or a member of the works council) or an employee authorised by a trade union to do so, or employees mandated by a referendum (although this is rare). In companies with fewer than 100 employees the agreements were signed, almost exclusively, by employee representatives.

(c) Is the consultation required by the collective redundancies/transfer of undertakings Directives carried out via I&C bodies, trade unions or other employee representatives?

In case of redundancies and transfer of undertakings, the required consultation has to be undertaken with the works council, or if there is no works council, with the workplace representatives. Trade unions are not involved.

(d) Is the use of direct forms of employee involvement by management through such things as team briefings seen as complementary to or in competition with the I&C body?

Between 1998 and 2004, direct forms of communication from management directly to employees increased, noticed Dares (Dares, Premières syntheses, Septembre 206, n°39.1). A growing number of companies disseminate documents relating to the company and its operating rules. According to the responses of managers, providing information to employees has become common on all themes (economic situation, employment trends, training opportunities...). But the study of Dares emphasises that these policies have had a limited effect. Thus over a quarter of employees stated that they are informed of the outlook for employment in their company while management says that the company disseminates information regularly on this issue.

Question 8: Views of the social partners

(a) What are the attitudes of the main employer and trade union organisations in your country towards (i) the value or necessity of I&C bodies and (ii) the operation of I&C bodies in practice, especially in a recession? (b) Have the social partners, jointly or separately, conducted any review of the operation of the national regulatory framework governing I&C? What is their assessment of its effectiveness? Is there any pressure from the social partners for reform?

French social partners want to launch an inter-professional negotiation to reform the structure of I&C bodies and their remit. Discussions began in spring 2010 and were suspended as a result of a disagreement between the social partners and government regarding the reform of social dialogue in small undertakings. Since then a meeting was held on September 10, and the social partners are seeking to demonstrate that they are able to reform the information and consultation process in undertakings. The powerful employers organisation within the metal industry, UIMM, wants increased efficiency of I/C bodies and a clarification on the structure and articulation of the different level of I/C bodies, without reducing their rights and competences. Some union organisations, such as the CGT or Force Ouvrière, warn that they will not accept a reduction in the number of levels of I/C bodies and of the rights given by the Labour Code to these bodies. Each I/C body has to be conserved, said FO. But a majority of social partners think they will be able to agree a common assessment and that a negotiation can be successful.

Commentary by national correspondents

Five years after the directive came into force and under the influence of the crisis, it seems that the role of I/C bodies is now recognised by all social partners and cannot be ignored. The added value of social dialogue in undertakings, to preserve or to increase the competitiveness, is now widely acknowledged by employers which have begun a new period of inter-professional negotiations to reform information and consultation bodies.

David TARREN - HERA, ADAPT International, Frédéric TURLAN - HERA,

Data :

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