In a landmark ruling, the Constitutional Council on Thursday ruled that the French Labor Code does not infringe on the principles of the Constitution. The decision did not invalidate a recent judgment that under European law, labor law will have to be revised so that employees on sick leave acquire paid leave, regardless of the circumstances.
In his speech before the Council on January 30, State representative requested that the acquisition of paid leave by employees on sick leave be limited to four weeks per year, corresponding to the minimum duration of acquisition of paid leave at European level, compared to five weeks in France. The Council had to determine whether two articles of the Labor Code infringed upon the right to health and rest and principle of equality.
Employer representatives had defended current French legislation before the Council, estimating it would cost companies at least €2 billion per year for acquiring paid leave during sick leave. However, in a letter to Medef members in December, its president Patrick Martin obtained assurances from the Ministry of Labor that “the future compliance law” would limit accumulation of paid leave during periods of shutdown illness to four weeks per year and allow for right to carry over leave over a period of 15 months.
For CGT, “if this decision is disappointing – symbolic censorship would have been welcome – it does not change anything in terms of rights currently applicable to employees.” The union emphasized in a press release that “the contested provisions are buried.”