enjeux environnementaux en droit du travail

The Climate and Resilience Act of August 22, 2021 came into force after its publication in the Official Journal on August 24, 2021. It reinforces environmental issues in labor law by “officially” integrating them into the labor code, particularly in terms of the missions of the CSE, the training of employee representatives and periodic company and branch negotiations on GPEC. 

1/Taking environmental issues into account in labor law: the consultative powers of works councils in companies with at least 50 employees.

The CSE of companies with at least 50 employees now carry out their missions «in particular with regard to the environmental consequences» of decisions taken by the company

As such, they are now informed and consulted on the environmental consequences of the decisions taken by the employer in terms of organization, management and general operation of the company (Art. L.2312-17 and L.2312-22 of the French Labor Code).

This new rule is of public order. It therefore applies whether the rules of information-consultation result from a collective agreement or from the supplementary system provided for by the Labour Code (in the absence of an agreement).

2/ The BDESE – Economic, Social and Environmental Data Base

The BDES changes its name and becomes the « economic, social and environmental data base » (BDESE).

The BDESE (whether negotiated or resulting from the supplementary regime provided for by the Labor Code) must now include information on «the environmental consequences of the company’s activity» (the French Labor Code. L. 2312-18, L. 2312-21, L. 2312-23 and L. 2312-36).

You can find more details on the content of this BDESE in our article dedicated to this subject.

3/ New missions of the CSE Chartered Accountant

The mission of the Chartered Accountant to whom the CSE can have recourse within the framework of the 3 main recurrent consultations (strategic orientations of the company; economic and financial situation; social policy, working conditions and employment) can now relate to all the elements of an economic, financial, social or « environmental » nature necessary to their understanding (French Labor Code art. L. 2315-87-1, L. 2315-89 and L. 2315-91-1)

This addition allows the CSE to benefit from an expertise on its new field of consultation.

4/ Economic training for employee representatives

In companies with at least 50 employees, the full members of the social and economic committee elected for the first-time benefit, under the conditions and within the limits provided for in Article L. 2145-11, from an economic training course of a maximum duration of five days.

The Climate Law provides that economic training may also cover « the environmental consequences of the activity of companies ».

The economic, social and trade union training leave becomes « ceconomic, social, environmental and trade union training leave » to allow the integration of subjects related to the management of the environmental consequences of the company’s activity ».

The OPCO are now required to « inform companies about the issues related to sustainable development and […] support them in their plans to adapt to the ecological transition, in particular by analyzing and defining their skills needs ».

5/ Taking into account environmental issues in labor law : GPEC

Periodic negotiations on the implementation of a GPEC system imposed on companies and groups with more than 300 employees will now also have to « respond to the challenges of the ecological transition » (French Labor Code. L. 2242-20 and L. 2241-12)

Reminder : three-yearly negotiations on forward-looking employment and skills management are required :

      • Companies and groups of companies with more than 300 employees ;
      • Community-scale companies and groups of companies (i.e. companies employing at least 1,000 employees in the Member States of the European Community or the European Economic Area and which have at least one establishment employing at least 150 employees in at least two of these States) with at least one establishment or company with at least 150 employees in France

Another new feature : The combination of the sustainable mobility package (payment by the employer of « alternative » transport costs such as personal bicycles, carpooling or electric car rental) and the obligation to pay 50% of public transport costs (French Labor Code. L. 3261-2) is exempt from tax and social security contributions up to 600 € per year and per salary (instead of 500 €) or the compulsory payment if it is higher.

On the subject of mobility, you can consult our two articles :

Sustainable mobility of employees: coverage of costs by the company / Home-workplace transport costs: what’s new ? / Sustainable mobility of employees : coverage of costs by the company / Home-workplace transport costs : what’s new ?