European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

Accueil > Topics > Health & Safety - working conditions > France: Government announces plans to abolish Health, Saf...

Health & Safety - working conditions

4 September 2017

France: Government announces plans to abolish Health, Safety and Working Conditions Committees

On 31 August 2017, the French Ministry of Labour published proposed amendments to the Labour Code. One of the changes – introduced by President Macron in response to employer demands – relates to the abolition of Health, Safety and Working Conditions Committees, which will be merged together with other staff representative bodies in a single ‘Works Council’.

According to Laurent Vogel, ETUI researcher, ‘The abolition of Health, Safety and Working Conditions Committees is likely to lead to a drastic reduction in the options available to workers who wish to take action on occupational health matters. The risk is that such matters will turn into bartering chips within the framework of broader negotiations on jobs or pay.’

The Government has not yet announced how many staff representatives will be appointed to these new bodies, or how much paid time off work will be granted for them to exercise their mandate. Over the past two decades, many Health, Safety and Working Conditions Committees have become a force to be reckoned with in the field of occupational health, but employers have perceived this increase in power as a threat to their own ability to control working procedures.

Trade union organisations and left-wing political parties have issued various calls for demonstrations against the planned reforms to the Labour Code, which will be adopted in the form of governmental decrees and will not be subject to parliamentary scrutiny.

All news