The Ecological Transition meets Labour Law
28 September 2023
The Ecological Transition cuts across all strata of society, including human resources, and more specifically employment law.
The social partners took up the issue and concluded a national interprofessional agreement (ANI) on 11 April 2023, with the exception of the CFE CGC and the CGT (which left the negotiating table), which had no impact on its entry into force.
- A series of recommendations and best practices
In reality, the ANI’s sole purpose is to provide information on existing legal tools: it is therefore no more than a set of recommendations.
Ideally, this overview should enable stakeholders to understand them better, to take ownership of them and, ultimately, to mobilise them more effectively.
The idea here is to remind people of the means to take action in favour of the ecological transition, not to give them more.
It does not therefore create any rights or obligations, which may seem regrettable given the scale of the ecological challenge of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, as set out in the preamble:
– Decarbonise and adapt production units, buildings, vehicle fleets, products and energies to environmental changes (climate change, erosion of biodiversity and pollution);
– anticipating changes in jobs, qualifications and skills ;
– To secure the future of some production activities and develop new sectors and jobs;
– consider low-carbon reindustrialisation in France and the mobilisation of French skills and qualifications to guarantee energy sovereignty;
– take on the scale of investment required for the ecological transition.
In fact, it is this discrepancy between the ambition of such a text and its lack of normative scope that has been criticised by both the CGT and the CFE CGC, which argue that it cannot “… be used as an instrument for the development of the social partners”. discredit [sa] signature by giving the impression that [qu’elle] is content with a reminder of the law to bring to a close a cycle of 9 months’ work and 12 negotiation sessions “. (Press release dated 22 May 2023)
- The ESC’s environmental skills as permanent support
Social dialogue thus remains the main means of integrating ecology into the life of the company, and the powers of the CSE are presented as a crucial lever.
The environmental competences of the CSE are thus spelled out in the ANI, so as to encourage stakeholders to include an environmental dimension in social dialogue, particularly when it comes to information and consultation.
Similarly, the measures that can be mobilised to serve the environmental cause are listed; for example: training of employee representatives, mobilisation of delegation hours of CSE members for environmental social dialogue, recourse to experts by including an environmental dimension in their mission statement, etc.
- Social dialogue as the main vector
The ANI recommends collective bargaining to adapt working conditions and organisation to environmental constraints.
Examples are given below:
- Negotiate a teleworking agreement, in particular to deal with pollution peaks (or to limit employee travel).
- Updating the agreement on working hours to take account of climatic contingencies.
- Define a mobility plan by agreement, encouraging the use of virtuous modes of transport and introducing sustainable mobility packages.
The ANI proposes negotiations at all levels: company, establishment, group, professional branch, inter-company and inter-professional. Moreover, the industry has been identified as the appropriate level for negotiations to adapt working organisation and conditions to environmental change.
- GPEC and training for the long term
The ecological transition in terms of forward-looking management of jobs and skills (GPEC) is approached from the angle of “opportunities” for stakeholders.
As a reminder, companies with at least 300 employees are required to negotiate regularly on the management of jobs and career paths (those with fewer than 300 employees may, under certain conditions, benefit from a human resources consultancy service financed by the State).
The ANI thus proposes a methodology for setting up a GPEC system to meet the challenges of the ecological transition, and points out that employers can integrate the challenges of the ecological transition into their skills development plan, to offer training linked to changes in their jobs.
It also suggests tools and organisations that can support these negotiations.
Finally, the ecological transition can be integrated into the skills development plan, or the employer can use training schemes such as :
- Collective transition, which enables employees whose jobs are in jeopardy to embark on retraining to take up promising careers;
- the FNE formation, which allows training initiatives to be funded by the State, subject to certain conditions; priority is also given in 2023 to companies forced to adapt their activity as a result of the ecological transition.
- Remuneration policy as a soft power tool
Finally, the remuneration policy is mentioned: the ecological transition can be integrated into it, for example by setting environmental criteria in the calculation of the variable remuneration of directors and managers.
In addition, the Value Sharing Bill provides for action on employee savings schemes by making it possible to include CSR performance criteria in the formula for calculating profit-sharing and by making it possible to direct employee savings schemes towards “green funds”.
As a reminder, NMCG is committed to CSR. Read our preliminary report online: https://www.nmcg.fr/rse/