1- Can you terminate employment without cause ?
In France you need a valid cause to terminate an employment contract and a notice period must be respected (usually one month and three months for executives).
No notice period needs to be respected in case of gross misconduct.
2- Can employees get reinstated ?
In France a distinction must be made between economic dismissal and dismissal for cause.
Reinstatement is pronounced in a collective economic dismissal if the collective dismissal plan is not validated by court. In this case employees could be reinstated.
If the dismissal is not economic the employee could be reinstated if the dismissal is considered as void by the court in cases such as pregnancy, harassment, discrimination or dismissal of a protected employee (trade union representative).
3- How is termination pay determined ?
In France several elements are taken into account :
-The damage of the employee based on how long he/she remained unemployed, his/her family charges.
-Age and the difficulty to find a new job.
4- Is there a special court for labor law ?
In France the labor court has an exclusive jurisdiction for judging any litigation between an employee and an employer.
The first degree jurisdiction (Conseil des Prud’hommes) is composed of four nonprofessional judges (two employees, two employers).
The court of appeal is composed of one or three professional judges.
In France termination issues are highly litigated and could be very expensive for employers.
5-What are the different sources of employment law ?
In France employment law is codified in labor code (Code du travail).
There are collective bargaining agreements depending on the activity of the company.
Lately an important freedom is given to companies to negotiate internal policies.
European laws are obviously also applied.
Avocat à la Cour