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A new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) will apply to all companies that are in the scope of the Metal industry CBA as of January 1, 2024. It will replace over 70 regional or local collective agreements in order to align the rights of all employees in the industry in France.
The CBA covers various subjects such as labor relations, labor contracts, wages, social care, and job classifications.
However, it should be noted that the new provisions on social care already entered into force on January 1, 2023, with the introduction of a minimum guarantee threshold.
The most material consequence of this new CBA relates to the question of job classifications. Indeed, the change in job classifications is an important and time-consuming HR project which would need to be engaged as soon as possible in order to meet the January 1, 2024, deadline.
Job classification is the means by which various positions are described according to common criteria for comparing, ranking and evaluating them. The classification is a mandatory indication in the employment contract and on the pay slip and is a determining factor in the application of certain dispositions of the CBA, such as a minimum salary, a seniority bonus.
- What is the major change concerning the job classification?
The new CBA sets up a legal framework to classify positions rather than employees.
The job description characterizing the occupied position, will become mandatory and will have to be provided to each employee before January 1, 2024.
It will have to be drafted in French and include the following information:
- Position title;
- Main activities;
- Scope and nature of duties;
- Key Figures (quantified);
- Required expertise and skills.
Each position will be scored using the legal framework which includes:
- 6 criteria:
- Job complexity: Difficulty/technicity and work, solutions to implement, problems to deal with;
- Expertise: Knowledge and skills required for the job, acquired through initial/continuing training or experience;
- Autonomy: Latitude of action, organization, and decision in the context of the job, associated level of control;
- Contribution: Effect and influence of actions and decision on activities, organization, and its environment. Nature and extent of scope of action and responsibility;
- Management/cooperation: Support/supervision, coaching/transmission, management/coordination, whether it is a hierarchical, functional or project responsibility;
- Communication: Nature and variety of exchanges and interlocutors, transfer of information consultation, negotiation, representation.
- 10 degrees of expectation, each of which confers 1 to 10 points.
The score (total number of points for each criterion) determines the affiliation to “a job group and job class,” as well as classification.
Each classification is associated to a minimum salary. In comparison with the current situation, the classification could change the current score of a position The score will be attached to a job group which may have the effect of removing the employee from the “Cadre” group.
This information will have to appear on pay slips, which will have to be updated no later than January 31, 2024.
The implementation of the new classification system will not impact the salaries of employees already in the company
- How to prepare the new classification?
- Start working on the job descriptions with the reference framework as soon as possible;
- Once the job classification has been completed with the new ranking, the employer must notify each employee in writing of the classification of his/her job. Within one month of this notification, the employee may ask the employer for an explanation of the classification chosen. The employer must respond by any means within one month;
- Signature of an amendment to each employee’s employment contract providing for the new classification;
- Due to this process, it would be recommended to launch this important HR project as soon as possible to be compliant on January 1, 2024.
- What happens if an employer does not comply?
This new CBA is binding on the employers of the industry.
If an employer were not to comply, the main following risks would be incurred:
- Risk of sanction and litigation: In the framework of a control by the labor inspector, employers may be subject to penal and financial sanctions. Furthermore, employees can appeal to the Labor Court to claim the implementation of the CBA and for compensation.
- Economic risk: employees would be entitled to request the implementation of the classification system and, if necessary, the catch up of their salaries.
Concerning social care, if it would appear that the employer has not subscribed to applicable insurance contracts or not subscribed the minimum guarantee threshold, an employee may appeal to the Labor Court if he/she is the victim of an accident/ illness, and has to bear the costs incurred. The favorable tax regime applicable to such insurance contracts may also be questioned in the event of a social security audit.
- Social risk: If an employer does not provide his/her employees with the information on their new classification, they may challenge their current situation and claim for a better position, or even a change of job category and an increase in their salary.
- Employee relations risk: the CBA classification system is one of the tools for employee management in France. , Failure to apply it may potentially cause employee dissatisfaction and/or tension with Employee Representatives.
Should you have any questions, or should you need assistance in this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.