The future of the Macron scale of indemnitees before Labour Court

Decree No. 2017-1387 of 22 September 2017 on the predictability and security of labour relations has amended Article L1235-3 of the Labour Code by introducing a scale for dismissals ruled without a real and serious cause, rapidly nicknamed the “Macron scale” after its maker.

In accordance with this scale, when an employee’s dismissal occurs for a reason that is not real and serious, and in the absence of reinstatement, the judge sentence the employer to pay the employee a compensatory indemnity ranging between the minimum and maximum amounts set by the text.

For instance, an employee with 5 years’ seniority may obtain a compensatory indemnity in a range between 3 and 6 months’ salary when the employer has less than 11 employees.

The compliance of this scale with international and European standards is now being questioned by several Labour Courts, hence the maintaining of its application.

Indeed, the Labour Court of Troyes recently ruled that the Macron scale was inconsistent with several international and European standards (ILO Convention No. 158 and the European Social Charter) and, as a result, simply ruled out its application.

A few days ago, the Labour Courts of Lyon and Amiens both ruled in the same way.

It is likely that other Labour Courts take precedence over these decisions and therefore rule in the same vein. In any case, there is no doubt that the Supreme Court (”Cour de Cassation”), the guardian of the compliance of the law with supra legislative status, will have to rule on the issue.

*Decision of the Labour Court of Troyes of December 13th, 2018 (No 18/00036).

Post by Matthieu Hue

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