6 May 2020

PARTIAL ACTIVITY (French Version of Furlough): Better Paid and More User Friendly

(Ordinance n°2020-460 of 22 April 2020 and Ordinance n°2020-428 of 15 April 2020)

Contractual hours that exceed the 35 hour week will now be indemnified in cases of partial activity. Until now, indemnification could cover hours below 35 hours/week only.

Partial activity can apply in a more individualized way – Until now, partial activity was supposed to cover a whole service or department. It is now possible to place one individual only in partial activity or to implement it on a collective basis, but with a non-uniform distribution of hours (subject to a company’s agreement or a favorable opinion of the CSE in the absence of unions).

Senior executives (cadres dirigeants) may now be placed in partial activity, but only in the event of temporary closure. A decree shall bring more details on financial cover.

New social treatment – The portion of complementary indemnity paid by the employer exceeding €4,849.17 (i.e. 70% of four times the minimum statutory salary, SMIC) is now subject to social security contributions as normal salary.

POSSIBILITY TO RESUME MUTUAL TERMINATIONS OR COLLECTIVE REDUNDANCY PROCEDURES

(Decree n°2020-471 of 24 April 2020)

Since 25 March 2020, all administrative cooling-off periods to approve or reject mutual termination agreements and collective redundancies plans were frozen as from 12 March.

This situation has ended and the administrative cooling-off periods for these procedures have resumed their normal course as of 25 April 2020.

FOCUS ON THE PROFESSIONAL EXPENSES RELATED TO TELECOMMUTING

(Questions and Answers Published on 17 April 2020 by the Ministry of Labor)

The government pointed out the fact that employers have to pay work-related costs and, therefore, pay a telecommuting allowance in order to cover the costs borne by employees (internet, telephone and other IT equipment) during the COVID-19 lockdown. The Ministry strongly encourages companies to pay a monthly lump sum allowance.

This lump sum allowance would be exempt from social security contributions up to:

  • €10/month for one day of home-working every week
  • €20/month for two days of home-working every week
  • €30/month for three days of home-working every week
  • €40/month for four days of home-working every week
  • €50/month for five days of home-working every week

When the amount paid by the employer exceeds these limits, exemption from social security contributions may be allowed, provided that the employee can prove the reality of the professional expenses incurred.

SWITCHING TO PARTIAL ACTIVITY OF EMPLOYEES ON SICK LEAVE DUE TO VULNERABILITY SITUATIONS OR CHILDCARE

(2020 Corrective Finance Law, Dated 17 April 2020)

As of 1 May 2020, and regardless the starting date of the sick leave, employees who were on exceptional sick leave for reasons of “vulnerability” or “cohabitation with a vulnerable person” or “care of children under the age of 16“ will automatically switch on the partial activity scheme.