• Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

French Labor Code Cleared of Unconstitutionality, but Controversial Changes to Sick Leave Still Uncertain


Feb 11, 2024
The Council of Wise Men Judges Labor Code Consistency with Constitution for Paid Sick Leave

The French Labor Code, which was recently challenged for infringing on the principles of the Constitution, has been ruled in favor of compliance by the Constitutional Council. This decision does not invalidate a recent judgment that under European law, labor law will have to be revised so that employees on sick leave acquire paid leave, regardless of the circumstances.

In his speech before the Council on January 30, the State representative had argued for limiting the acquisition of paid leave by employees on sick leave to four weeks per year, compared to five weeks in France. The Sages determined whether two articles of the Labor Code violated the right to health and rest and the principle of equality. The Council rejected claims of disregard for both principles and dismissed them altogether.

Employer representatives had defended current French legislation before the Council, stating that acquiring paid leave during sick leave could cost companies at least 2 billion euros per year. However, in a letter to Medef members in December, its president Patrick Martin obtained assurances from the Ministry of Labor that “the future compliance law” would limit the accumulation of paid leave during periods of shutdown illness to four weeks per year, accompanied by “a right to carry over leave over a period of 15 months.”

The CGT expressed disappointment with this decision but noted that it did not change anything in terms of employees’ rights. In a press release, they emphasized that “the contested provisions of the Labor Code are well and truly buried.”

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