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France / Cour de cassation / 14-26.256

Mr. X. v SGD

Policy area:
Employment and social policy
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Court of cassation
Decision date:

Key facts of the case: 

Mr. X., laid off on economic grounds, referred to the employment court with various requests, in particular for back pay of overtime.

Outcome of the case: 

The Court of Appeal of Versailles ruled a flat-rate days worked pay agreement (the fixed day convention which is a document which provides for different duration of work from the legal or conventional duration, on the basis of a fixed rate established in hours (over a week, month or year) or in days (over the year) concluded pursuant to collective agreements to be null and void. It considered that the system used did not make it possible to effectively control the maximum duration of work and that the convention was not likely to guarantee at the very least that the workload remains reasonable and ensures good distribution over the working time of interested party and thus does not ensure the protection of the safety and the health of the employee. It condemned the SGD company to pay Mr. X. overtime hours back pay. However, the Court of cassation overturned the ruling of the Court of Appeal and returned the case and the parties to the state they were in before the aforementioned ruling and returned them to another composition of the Court of Appeal of Versailles. In the view of the Court of cassation, the contractual provisions ensuring a guarantee of the respect of rest periods, as well as reasonable maximum duration of work by organizing the monitoring and control of the workload on a monthly basis by the means of a declaratory statement signed by the senior manager and validated by the human resources department, together with an alert system for the management in the event of a difficulty, with the possibility to request an interview with the human resources department are in the conformity with the Charter which establishes a European standard that has to be observed.