February 24, 2024 1:31 pm
The Council of Wise Men Judges Labor Code Consistency with Constitution for Paid Sick Leave

On Thursday, the Constitutional Council ruled that the French Labor Code did not violate the principles of the Constitution. The decision did not affect a recent European court ruling that mandated France to revise its labor law so that employees on sick leave would receive paid leave, regardless of their circumstances. Labor Minister Catherine Vautrin pledged to comply with the new legislation once the decision of the Constitutional Council is finalized.

In his speech before the council on January 30th, the state representative had proposed limiting employee’s right to acquire paid leave during sick leave to four weeks per year, which is in line with minimum duration at European level. However, this was met with objections from two articles in the Labor Code that potentially infringed upon employees’ right to health and rest and equality. The council rejected these complaints and ruled in favor of employers who argued that acquiring paid leave during sick leave would cost companies at least €2 billion per year.

However, in December, Medef members received assurances from Labor Minister Patrick Martin that a future compliance law would limit accumulation of paid leave during periods of shutdown illness to four weeks per year accompanied by “a right to carry over leave over a period of 15 months.” The CGT union expressed disappointment with the decision but stated that it does not change anything regarding employees’ current rights.

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