COVID-19: a stress testfor French employee representation

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The crisis caused by covid-19 was a baptism of fire for workplace representation in France. The legal framework for work councils, which is established by the legislator, had been amended shortly before the spread of covid-19. However, there were no provisions to deal with emergencies. This framework also suffered from inaccuracies which the crisis brought to light. Clarifications and adjustments were therefore
necessary. As a result, the role of employee representatives is somewhat ambiguous. On one hand, their prerogatives in occupational health and safety have been strengthened. On other hand, the rules laid down regarding the methods and timing of employee representatives’ involvement make this more difficult in practice.