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When an employee of a private entity experiences a takeover by a public entity, it is crucial to understand their rights, particularly regarding the preservation of seniority . In this article, we will delve deeper into the legal framework surrounding this issue, focusing on the interpretation of article L. 122-12 and the directive of February 14, 1977. Lawyer Grégory DAMY, specialized in labor law  and  of seniority, provides  valuable  insights into the issue.

Preservation of seniority: a fundamental right:

Legal provisions for the preservation of seniority

The Council of State stresses that in the event of a takeover of the activity of a private person by a public person, the employees concerned are entitled to maintain their seniority. This right guarantees that their seniority is duly recognised, in particular for the calculation of severance pay. To safeguard this right, the relevant legislation must be interpreted and implemented with care.

Substantial clauses in the public law contract

According to Me Grégory DAMY, the public law contract offered to employees affected by the transition must include substantial clauses from their previous contracts, provided that no legislative or regulatory provision opposes it. This requirement is intended to protect the rights and interests of employees, ensuring that the transition does not result in an unfair reduction in their benefits or conditions of employment.


In summary, when the activity of a private entity is taken over by a public entity, the preservation of an employee’s seniority becomes a crucial aspect to consider. The Council of State, in connection with the directive of February 14, 1977, underlines the importance of this right. In addition, Me Grégory DAMY insists on the need for public law contracts to incorporate substantial clauses from former employee contracts, unless prohibited by legislative or regulatory provisions. By adhering to these principles, the rights of affected employees are protected, ensuring a fair and just transition process.