« I would like to review and modify
my employment contracts. »
The way your business grows and how your employees evolve within your company leads to changes that directly impact your employment agreements currently in place.
It may be necessary to review the classification and compensation of your employees that may have evolved, set forth new provisions such as non-competition clauses and objective clauses, to verify that your current employment agreements ensure the protection of confidential data within the company, or to determine the conditions of use of the digital tools made available to employees.
It is also common for an employee who started out with a working time organization following a collectively defined schedule to move to a position where he or she manages his or her working time independently. It is imperative to reflect such changes in the employment agreements.
In the event of restructuring or economic difficulties, the modification of an employment agreement can be an alternative to economic redundancies.
Any change to an employment agreement requires the employee’s approval. This is not the case with simple changes to an employment agreement.
But, if my employee is a protected employee, I must beforehand, in addition and in any case, secure the agreement of the Labor Inspection.
The employee’s refusal cannot result in disciplinary action.
The employer may decide to abandon his/her project to modify employment agreements or to review this project after negotiating with the employee. The applicable procedure will then need to be followed again.
Aside from economic reasons where employees’ refusal to accept the proposed changes may lead to dismissals with valid grounds, the possibilities for employers to dismiss employees who refuse a change in their employment agreements are very limited.
Compensation, working time, non-competition clauses, mobility are all subjects on which employers are not free to act as they see fit.
These topics are very strictly regulated and certain mentions are mandatory.
Wanting to change such elements is tantamount to changing the core of the employment agreements and not simply their terms and conditions.
The risk may be to generate employee dissatisfaction, to have to assume an unforeseen financial burden or even to be confronted with proceedings before the Labor Court.
It is necessary to warn employees and to propose an amendment to their employment agreements. Sufficient time to think about the proposed changes, whether to accept or refuse same, must be allowed.
Employees’ approval must be explicit unless the proposed changes are based on economic motives, in which case employees’ silence will be deemed to constitute acceptance of the proposed changes.
Employment agreements can always provide for more favorable conditions than the ones set forth by the collective bargaining agreement.
However, a company agreement negotiated by the employer and the employee representatives may provide for less favorable provisions than those set forth in the collective bargaining agreement. Therefore, an employment agreement that would refer to a company agreement may include clauses that override the ones set forth in the collective bargaining agreement.
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