Advancements in employee rights: agreements, benefits, and protection

Published on : 29/11/2023 29 November Nov 11 2023

Agreed termination (“rupture conventionnelle”) - Implementation of the New Social Regime for Compensation and Retirement Benefits

The law reforming the pension system has modified the social regime of the indemnity paid upon the agreed termination of an employment contract: the part of the indemnity that is exempt from social security contributions is now subject to a contribution, the rate of which is fixed at 30% of the taxable amounts, instead of 20%.

According to the same text, the compensation paid to an employee who retires at the employer's initiative is subject to the same 30% contribution for the part that is excluded from the social security contribution base, instead of the 50% contribution previously due by employers for such compensation.

This new regime will apply on termination of employment contracts ending after August 31, 2023, i.e. from September 1, 2023.

Strengthened protection for parents of sick or disabled children or victims of accidents

Parental presence leave - In accordance with articles L. 1225-62 et seq. of the Labor Code, the parents of a child suffering from an illness, a disability, or the victim of a particularly serious accident that requires their constant presence and indispensable care are entitled to parental presence leave (so-called “congé de presence parental”). This leave may, if necessary, take the form of a period of part-time work or be taken intermittently. An employee on such leave is now protected against dismissal: the employer may not terminate the employment contract during this leave. However, as with maternity protection, dismissal remains possible if the employer can justify serious misconduct of the employee concerned or the impossibility of maintaining the contract for a reason unrelated to the child's state of health.

Teleworking - Article L. 1222-9 of the Labor Code, as amended by the law of July 19, 2023, now requires an employer to justify his refusal to grant a request for teleworking made by an employee who is the caregiver of a child. In addition, the collective agreement or charter implementing telework must expressly provide for the modalities of access to telework for employees caring for a child.

Longer leave in the event of death or notification of pathology - The law also increases the duration of leave granted to employees under Article L. 3142-4 of the Labor Code in the event of the death of a child (12 days - instead of 5 - for the death of a child and 14 days - instead of 7 - if the child is under twenty-five years of age and regardless of age if the deceased child was a parent or in the event of the death of a person under twenty-five years of age who was under their permanent care). The duration of leave in the event of notification of the onset of a disability, chronic pathology requiring therapeutic learning, or cancer in a child is also increased (5 days instead of 2 days).

Protection for employees who suffer a miscarriage

The law of July 7, 2023, created article L. 1225-4-3 of the Labor Code, which provides protection against dismissal of an employee for 10 weeks following a medically certified spontaneous miscarriage occurring between the 14th and 21st week of amenorrhea inclusive.

Exceptionally, and in accordance with the existing principle of maternity protection, the contract may be terminated if the employer justifies a serious misconduct of the employee concerned or the impossibility of maintaining the contract for a reason unrelated to the spontaneous miscarriage. In addition, the protection does not preclude the termination of a fixed-term contract.

In addition, the three-day waiting period normally applicable in the event of suspension from work is waived for women forced to stop working following a miscarriage that occurred before the 22nd week of pregnancy. Employers who are required by special provisions to continue paying wages before the 4th day of the suspension of work may thus reduce the payment of the supplement by the amount corresponding to the daily allowance.

These provisions will apply to work stoppages imposed as of a date to be determined by decree, but no later than January 1, 2024.

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