Do’s & Don’ts | This month: Pre-dismissal interviews

Published on : 09/01/2019 09 January Jan 01 2019

In France, there are strict rules and procedures to follow in the process of dismissing an employee. These can be found in the Labor code, collective bargaining agreements, and even in case law.

One essential element of the dismissal procedure is the pre-dismissal meeting.

Employers must be cautious to strictly follow the guidelines because the entire procedure could be called into question.

Below are rules to keep in mind when planning and carrying out the pre-dismissal meeting.
  • Do make sure to summon the employee to the pre-dismissal meeting in writing, either by registered mail or by hand delivery against receipt.
  • Don’t forget to have proof of the date on which the employee received the summons.  
  • Do make sure to leave enough time between the date of reception and the actual meeting. This time window is provided for by law (5 business days) and/or by the CBA.
  • Don’t forget to provide for postal delays when sending the summons. This can be enough to derail a whole procedure!
  • Do remember to inform the employee in writing of his or her rights in the summoning letter.
  • Don’t forget to include an interpreter if the employee and person conducting the meeting do not speak the same language fluently.  In principle, the meeting should be in French.
  • Do ensure that the person conducting the interview is duly authorized to do so.
  • Don’t outsource the dismissal procedure. It won’t be valid under French law!
  • Do explain that the meeting is because a potential dismissal is being contemplated.
  • Don’t say that the dismissal has already been decided. This is a major error that foreign companies make when dealing with French labor law. Officially, the meeting is to discuss the facts and collect more information, by giving the employee a chance to defend their position.
  • Do take notes during the meeting. These will be essential for drafting the dismissal letter.
Flichy Grangé Avocats can assist you with every step necessary to ensure your company’s proper handling of a dismissal process. 


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