Définition du licenciement collectif (nombre d'employés concernés):
The labour code defines economic dismissal but not collective dismissals.
However, the LC contains specific sections on the legal requirements applicable to economic dismissal concerning:
1) less than 10 employees over a 30-day period;
2) 10 or more employees over a 30-day period.
See: art. L 1233-3 LC, art. L 1233-8 ff. LC , art. L 1233-21 ff. LC
NB: Special additional category: dismissals following receivership or judicial winding-up: art. L 1233-58 LC.
Consultation préalable des syndicats (représentants des travailleurs):
* Dismissals concerning less than 10 employees over a 30 day period: art. L 1233-8 to L 1233-10.
* Dismissals concerning 10 or more employees over a 30 day period: art. L 1233-28 to L 1233-33 LC.
(Criminal penalties for failure to observe those requirements: art. L1238-2 LC)
Notification à l'administration publique:
* Less than 10 employees over a 30 day period of time: art. L 1233-19 LC.
* 10 or more employees over a 30 day period: art. L 1233-46 LC.
+ Criminal penalties for failure to observe the notification requirement: art. R1238-2 (less than 10 employees) and art. L 1238-4 LC (10 or more employees).
Notification aux représentants des travailleurs:
* Less than 10 employees over 30 days: art. L 1233-8 to L 1233-10
*10 or more employees over 30 days: art. L 1233-28 to L 1233-33 LC.
Autorisation de l'administration publique ou d'un organe judiciaire:
Intervention of the administration: in the case of economic dismissal of 10 or more employees, it verifies the regularity of the procedure (with regard to information to the workers' representatives, adoption of social plan) and gives advisory opinion but no power to adopt binding decisions: See L 1233-52 to L 1233-57 LC.
However approval of the labour inspectorate is requested prior to dismissal of some protected workers (i.e. trade union rep. : art. L 2411-3 LC).
Accord des représentants des travailleurs:
Règles de priorité pour l'ordre des des licenciements collectifs (situation sociale, âge, ancienneté):
Art. L 1233-5 LC:
In the absence of a collective agreement, the employer defines the criteria used to determine the order in which the dismissals will take place, after consultation with the works council or, in the absence of such a body, with workers' representatives. These criteria take into consideration, among others:
1) family responsibilities
2) length of service
3) the situation of employees whose re-entry in the labour market is difficult for social reasons (in particular for elderly employees and persons living with a disability)
4) professional skills
Obligation de l'employeur d'examiner des solutions alternatives au licenciement (transferts, formation...):
Art. L 1233-4 LC: a collective dismissal can only take place after having made every possible training and adaptation effort and if the redeployment of the employee concerned, in the same company or in another company of the same group, appears not to be possible.
Mandatory "employment safeguard plan" (plan de sauvegarde de l'emploi) to avoid dismissals or limit their number, for enterprises with more than 50 employees in case of a collective dismissal concerning 10 or more employees over a 30 day period: art. L 1233-61 to L 1233-64 LC. The dismissal procedure is invalid as long as the employees' redeployment plan integrated in the employment safeguard plan is not submitted to the workers' representatives for consultation (art. L. 1235-10 LC).
In addition, in companies with at least 1000 employees, the employer must propose to the employees concerned a “reclassification leaveu201d (congé de reclassement) of up to 9 months (art. L. 1233-71). In companies that are not subject to this obligation, the employer must propose a “professional employability agreementu201d (contrat de sécurisation professionnelle) (art. L.1233-66).
Règles de priorité de réembauche:
In case of dismissal of 10 or more employees over a 30 day period: preferential rehiring within a limit of 1 year and if requested by the employee: art. L 1235-45 LC.
See also art. L 1233-45 LC: non observance of the preferential right to re-employment entails compensation that shall amount to 2 months' wages).