A flexible labor market

Employment law reform

Greater freedom…

To negotiate at company level and as closely as possible with employees.

Greater equality…

To ensure that employees and employers negotiate fairly.

Greater security…

To make the rules on working relationships clearer and more understandable.


  • More flexible and adaptable collective bargaining, in everyone’s interests.
  • Simplified social dialogue.
  • Employment law reform prioritizing innovative SMEs.
  • Ability to predict and quickly adapt to upward or downward market changes through simplified majority agreements on working time, pay and mobility.
  • New contracts that address a business’s particular needs.
  • Easily accessible digital copies of employment laws.

French Ministry for Labour, 2017


Greater flexibility in the organization of working time

The 35-hour week does not apply to executives, to whom regulations on night work,
daily and weekly rest periods, and statutory holiday entitlement do not apply either.

French Ministry for Labour, 2017


Collective agreements

Employee and employer representative organizations are free to replace certain legislative
and regulatory provisions by collective agreements to adapt employment regulations to their organization.


Industry-specific agreements


Industry-specific agreements apply to all companies belonging to the same business sector.

They allow employers and trade unions to discuss various topics, including:

  • Minimum wage levels
  • Collective guarantees (supplemental insurance)
  • Gender equality in the workplace
  • Training
  • Occupational health risks
  • Job classifications

Company agreements

Company agreements can be negotiated between the company’s management and the employee representatives. They apply to all employees in a company or to a particular group of the company’s employees.

French Ministry for Labour, 2017


Number of contract terminations


ruptures approved in April 2018

This procedure allows the employer and the employee to agree on the conditions of the termination of the employment contract between them.

French Ministry for Labour, 2018