Employer code: Monitor

Recently, the French law “for the freedom to choose one’s professional future” was published, which contains various provisions to promote training, employment and equal treatment among workers. Included within the law is the requirement for companies with at least 50 employees to disclose the difference in pay levels between their male and female employees.

Key details

  • The reporting requirement will be rolled out gradually, beginning in January 2019 for companies with at least 250 employees. In January 2020, the mandate will be extended to employers with at least 50 employees.
  • Specific reporting requirements and processes are not yet defined but are expected to be released before the end of 2018.
  • Employers will be given three years to remedy any gaps exposed through reporting.

In addition to gender pay reporting mandates, the law also includes various provisions to expand the use of apprenticeships as well as to encourage employment of the disabled, and to reform the existing personal training account system (compte personnel de formation) to provide a fixed annual monetary amount per employee, which may be accrued to fund education and training, among other things.

Employer implications

Because the specific requirements relating to gender pay reports are still undefined, employers likely to be impacted should monitor and ensure their compliance. In addition, employers should also review the law’s broader impact on their current hiring and training policies in order to identify specific opportunities to simplify requirements.

Overall, many of the law’s provisions simplify existing frameworks with a goal that the streamlined requirements will make it easier for employers to hire and train certain categories of workers while improving pay equality. Similar efforts to reduce administration are under way as part of the government’s business reform agenda under the so-called PACTE plan (plan d'action pour la croissance et la transformation des entreprises), which seeks to encourage the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by simplifying compliance.

A key aspect of the PACTE agenda is the proposed simplification of employee thresholds for the purposes of applying laws such as the Labor Code and social security. Broadly speaking, most existing mandates, such as the requirement to establish internal work rules (for companies with 20 or more workers) or to contribute to the National Housing Fund (for companies with 10 or more workers) would no longer apply to companies with a staff of fewer than 50. Currently, SMEs are subject to a dizzying 199 different mandates depending on their specific head counts. PACTE was approved by the National Assembly and is expected to be reviewed by the Senate in early 2019. (Note: Implementation of the PACTE agenda will be based on separate pieces of legislation rather than an omnibus bill.)