For French companies, the CSE to replace staff representatives

The need for CSE

If your business has anywhere from 11 to 50 employees than by 2020, you’re going to have to equip your company with a “ CSE ”, which stands for Social and Economic Committee. Indeed, with the 2018 changes to Labor Law, this will now replace Staff representatives.

When should I have this CSE?

Any company that has 11 employees for 12 consecutive months is required to equip itself with a CSE immediately. However, if your company already has a staff representative, then you can wait until the end of his mandate to replace them with this new committee. Though, no matter what, they have to be replaced before the end of 2019.

Furthermore, if the mandate of your staff representative ends in 2018, you are allowed to extend it another year. As such, you can somewhat choose when to introduce the CSE in your company.

How do you make up the CSE?

First of all, the employer is required to tell the employees exactly how and when the members of the CSE are going to be elected. Furthermore, unless your company has less than 20 employees and none of them volunteered within 30 days of them learning about it, you are required to negotiate with syndicates before definitively signing the voting protocol.

Then, it’s up to the employer to physically organize how the vote will take place. You have to bear in mind that the vote needs to take place within 90 days of employees being informed about it!
Then, after a 2-turn vote, the members of the CSE are elected for 4 years.

There’s also something you should keep in mind: if the only members elected to the CSE are the titular member and a deputy member, it becomes mandatory to constitute an electoral college in which figures all of the occupational categories present in the company.

Who makes up the CSE?

If your company has 24 employees or less, then the CSE has to be made of one titular member and one deputy member. However, if you’ve got between 25 and 49 employees, then this goes up to 2 of each.
Furthermore, if one of your company’s employees is the representative of the syndicate, then he automatically becomes the representative of the syndicate of the CSE.

There’s another thing that’s worth noting at this point, and that’s that in practice, the employer and the syndicates are free to modify the number of people in the CSE, as long as their number appears in the voting protocol they designed together.

In a similar fashion, each titular member can take up to 10 of their working hours a month to exercise their functions, unless it was decided there would be more in the protocol. Though, committee reunions don’t count towards these 10 hours, and neither do investigations following an accident or repeated incidents that brought to light a grave risk.

How exactly does it work?

The CSE basically takes over some of the missions of the staff representatives. As such, this is the body that’s going to present the demands of one or several employees, that’s going to promote health, security, and overall working conditions in the company, and that leads investigations regarding professional accidents or illnesses.

Furthermore, much like with the staff representatives, the employer has to confront the CSE before applying collective lay-off plans, transferring workers recognized as incompetent, and when it comes to paid leaves.

However, there are a few differences between the CSE and staff representatives. In particular, the CSE does not have the right to “sound the alarm” if people’s rights are undermined, the employer does not have to refer to it before using the CICE (Tax credit for Employment and competitiveness), and it isn’t necessarily informed if the employer wants to resort to precarious employment.

And finally, even though the CSE can still invoke Labor Inspectors, it’s not allowed to accompany them during their visits to the company.

The last thing worth mentioning is that, much like for staff representatives, reunions must happen at least once a month. Though, the only ones present in the reunions are the titular members. Deputy members can only be present if titular members can’t make it.