The company and labour law: remaining up-to-date, a permanent obligation

April 2nd 2015

No one should ignore the law. This principle incessantly opposed to company litigants, obliges them to remain up-to-date, unless they are prepared to assume the consequences. Nonetheless, the reality is met with a multitude of decisions issued by the courts, the solutions of which have retroactive effect, and with the legislative and regulatory bulimia which is not deteriorating, at the risk for employers to be taken aback by an original and somewhat surprising outcome. Here are three recent illustrations.

1. The pension “schemes” have just been subject to two major reforms: firstly, the application of three decrees (no. 2012-25 of January 9, 2012, no. 2014-786 of July 8, 2014 and no. 2014-1025 of September 8, 2014) on the collective and obligatory nature of the schemes; secondly, those companies which were dependent on a collective bargaining agreement designating an obligatory insurance body thought that they would be able to avoid this on January 1, 2016: nothing could be less certain, as the Cour de cassation has maintained these clauses, at a minimum for the remaining term of the insurance body’s appointment.

These companies thought that they had finished with the pension scheme? Big mistake! There are two innovations: to the generalisation of the private health insurance in companies (Law no. 2013-504 of June 14, 2013 and the aforementioned decree no. 2014-1025 of September 8, 2014), shall be added its compliance with the so-called specifications of “responsible” insurance contracts. The sanction is still the same: the reintegration of the employers’ contributions in the base for social security contributions and, second effect, the recovery of a part of the general reduction of contributions referred to as the “Fillon reduction”. Ignorance can be costly.

2. The company hires trainees to whom it pays, in certain cases, a gratuity. Perhaps is it not aware that following the law no. 2014-788 of July 10, 2014 and the decree no. 2014-1420 of November 24, 2014, a controversy between administrations resulted in the trainees no longer receiving monthly payments (which was practical, and in any event, legally accurate) but to count the effective hours of attendance. Do they know that they now have to ensure that the trainees “badge in”, subject to an administrative fine of 2,000 €?

3. The company employs the Mayor of its municipality under civil status. It wants to dismiss him. Great care should be taken! Since the law no. 2015-366 of March 31, 2015, the Mayor, when he continues to exercise his professional activity, falls into the protected employee category, for whom the dismissal must first be authorised by the labour inspector. If this protection is ignored, the dismissed employee shall be reinstated and his salaries shall be paid since his dismissal.

The life of a company director is not always a bed of roses.

Marc Turquand d'Auzay