Obligation to employ disabled workers

Newsletter - July 2019

The French act of 5 September 2018 referred to as the “Professional Future Act” changed the obligation to employ disabled workers.
Two implementing decrees of 27 May 2019 specify the new rules that will apply from 1 January 2020.

Employment obligation according to an approved agreement

The company must sign an approved agreement providing for the implementation of a multi-year programme in favour of disabled workers. To be approved, this multi-year programme must be prepared by calendar year and set out a detailed hiring plan and a plan for job retention in the company, together with targets, such as the number of beneficiaries of the obligation compared to the necessary percentage and the number of beneficiaries the company intends to recruit.

These two plans must particularly include the provisional funding enabling the scheduled actions to be achieved (Art R 5212-2 of the French Labour Code). The amount of funding must be at least equal to the amount due for the annual contribution. The funding is revisable each year according to the variation in the contribution.

The agreement to be approved is sent by the first party to take action to the competent administrative authority (Employment Minister for an industry-wide agreement, Prefect for a company-wide agreement, etc.) by 31 March of the first year of implementation. Approval is granted for the validity period of the agreement and may only be renewed once for three years at the most if the administrative authority accepts.

Note that the employer must report yearly to the Social and Economic Committee (CSE) on the agreement’s implementation.

Contribution relating to the obligation to employ disabled workers

Just like the current situation, companies may fulfil their disabled worker employment obligations by paying an annual contribution. This contribution is determined by applying the following formula:

Number of missing disabled workers under the employment obligation x the gross hourly guaranteed minimum wage

-> x 400 for companies from 20 to 249 employees
-> x 500 for companies from 250 to 749 employees
-> x 600 for companies of more than 750 employees

An employer who has not employed any employment obligation beneficiary, who has not signed any contract for supplies, subcontracting or services for an amount exceeding 600 times the gross hourly guaranteed minimum wage over four years, or who has not signed an agreement, will be penalised by applying a multiplying factor of 1,500 (instead of 400, 500 or 600).

Example: for a company with 50 employees that does not employ any disabled workers and has not signed any contract for supplies, subcontracting or services, the annual contribution due is calculated as follows:

3 disabled workers x €10.03 gross x 1,500 = €45,135

The new law also tightens up the conditions for deducting expenses incurred under contracts for supplies, subcontracting or services. The number of categories of deductible expenses has been reduced to three, from thirteen previously. These three categories relate to:

– the performance of surveys and work to render the company’s premises accessible to disabled workers,
– keeping disabled workers in employment in the company and their professional redeployment, by implementing human resources,
– services to support employment obligation beneficiaries, and employee awareness and training actions.

Expenditure is no longer a means of partially fulfilling the employment obligation but will be deductible from the contribution under less favourable terms.

Adjustment of the contribution

In 2020, the increase in the contribution compared to the previous year will be reduced by:
– 30% up to €10,000
– 50% above €10,000 and up to €100,000
– 70% above €100,000

From 2021 to 2024, the increase in the contribution compared to the previous year will be reduced by:
– 80% in 2021
– 75% in 2022
– 66% in 2023
– 50% in 2024

The monthly newsletter is distributed free of charge to the firm’s clients via email. This document is designed to provide information and may not reflect the most recent legal developments. Clients and readers should not take action or refrain from taking action on the basis of information contained in this newsletter without seeking professional advice.

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