French Employment Law: the Role of the CSE

Introduced in 2020, the Comité Social et Économique (CSE) is a comprehensive employee representative body that merges three pre-existing groups – the employee delegates, the works council, and the health and safety committee – all of which formerly consulted on separate issues. 

As such, the CSE has a number of combined powers, including the right to information, consultation, and negotiation with the employer on a wide range of topics, such as restructuring, collective agreements, social and economic performance, and health and safety issues.

The CSE also ensures that employees’ voices are heard and considered when making important business decisions.  However, the specific role of the CSE differs according to the number of people employed by the company.

For a company with 11 – 49 employees, the CSE will deal with health and safety issues, reclamations, and right of alert (to do with the violation of people’s rights, or serious and imminent danger to public health and the environment).  They may also sign company agreements and liaise with the work inspector.

For a company with over 49 employees, the CSE’s remit remains as above, with additions that include:

  • Ensuring the full collective expression of employees, and that their interests are heard in key decision-making.
  • Being informed about and consulted with on important workplace issues, including measures likely to affect the size and structure of the workforce, general employment conditions, workforce equality, and analysis of occupational risk.
  • Social and cultural activities.

Avez-vous des questions?

Our experienced team at Viridian HR is well-known for our deep knowledge of legal requirements, people practices, and workplace cultures in both the UK and France. 

We also run free, regular English-speaking training workshops on a wide range of French HR-related topics.  Find out what’s coming up here, or send us a message to discuss specific issues in confidence.

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