Estimated reading time (in minutes)

Licenciement économique

Qualification of notice The employee may take note of the termination of his employment contract due to his employer’s breaches of his   essential obligations .

Conditions for termination of the employment contract due to employer’s breaches: –

Depending on the seriousness of the facts, the initiation of an action is analyzed in a dismissal without real and serious cause or in a resignation (SOC, June 25, 2003, n° 01-43.679, Bull. civ. V, n° 209 ) .
The non-payment of wages, the non-supply of work, the non-respect of safety rules, the non-respect of weekly rest, are, by way of example, so many serious behaviors of the employer which can justify the employee’s action.

Praetorian concept, the taking of act entered recently in the Labor Code thanks to the law n ° 2014-743 of July 1, 2014 .

The Accelerated Procedure for the Qualification of Acts by the Employee :-

This text establishes an accelerated procedure for requests for qualification of acts presented by the employee in two respects:

– on the one hand, the dispute is brought directly before the registry, without a conciliation phase
– on the other hand, the Council has a period of one month to investigate the request

Promptness is all the more justified since the employee who has taken note of the termination of his employment contract is not compensated by unemployment insurance pending the decision of the industrial tribunal.
Court of Cassation, Civil, Social Chamber, March 26, 2014. However, this accelerated processing of requests should not encourage employees to terminate their contract in the face of possible wrongful behavior on the part of their employer.

The social chamber of the Court of Cassation recently specified that the breaches of which the employer is accused must be serious enough to prevent the continuation of the employment contract (Cass. soc., March 26, 2014, n°12-23.634; Cass. soc ., March 26, 2014, No. 12-35.040; Cass. soc., March 26, 2014, No. 12-21.372).

Thus, both the seriousness of the employer’s faults and the time elapsed between their commission and the act committed condition the qualification of the act committed as a dismissal without real and serious cause.

Like serious misconduct justifying dismissal, the employer’s breaches must therefore be intolerable, making it impossible to maintain the employment relationship.
It remains to be seen whether the objective of speed targeted by the legislator will be achievable in practice, given the backlog of labor courts.