Abandoning an employee position is analogous to resignation: Why isn’t a new procedure necessarily good news? Previously, when an employee stopped working without justifying his absence, that is, he gave up his place of work, the employer had no real choice but to fire him for misconduct. From now on, an employee who abandons his position is considered to have resigned, but contrary to some preconceived assumptions, this is not without causing new difficulties for companies and employees.
Abandoning a job entailed in resignation = No unemployment benefits
Job abandonment is the repeated and unexcused absence of an employee who leaves their job without the employer’s permission. Under the old situation, an employee, except for dismissal for gross misconduct, was entitled to severance pay and above all could receive unemployment benefits. Today, according to the new decree of April 17, 2023 published in the Official Gazette, the employee who left his position is now presumed to have resigned, which will deprive him of unemployment insurance. According to the questions and answers published by the Ministry of Labor and updated on April 18, 2023, if the employer wishes to terminate the employment relationship with the employee who gave up his position, the employer must leave a period of at least 15 calendar days. To justify the employee himself or return to his job. At the end of the period allotted to him, the employee who did not justify his absence or return to his job is considered to have resigned.
Beware of corporate hidden costs
Accommodating job abandonment for resignation stipulated in Section L 1237-1-1 of the Labor Code may seem like good news for companies at first glance, as it means that employees will no longer leave their jobs without or without notice. Good reason. In addition, the employer is no longer entitled to initiate a dismissal procedure for fault. However, this may not be good news in the long run for the companies. In fact, job abandonment is often associated with job satisfaction issues and sometimes struggles on the job. If employees are forced to stay in their jobs, it can lead to a correlated decline in productivity and work quality. Furthermore, dissatisfied employees can be less motivated and less cooperative, which can hurt the overall effectiveness of teams. Finally, employees who wish to leave their company, without losing the benefits of severance and unemployment benefits, may above all tend to “legitimize” their departure, for example by motivating their absence by a situation of harassment (real or supposed), when you refuse The company negotiated termination.
The Presumption of Resignation: New Legal Risks
While job abandonment can constitute a “social valve,” with their programmed disappearance due to a lack of interest in resorting to it by employees, it is even more necessary for companies to understand the reasons why their employees can leave their jobs and work towards fixing job satisfaction and productivity issues. In terms of harassment, many employees refuse to testify to facts they are witnesses to or victims of, for fear of getting in trouble or suffering professional repercussions.
However, according to the decree, it must also be emphasized that there will be no presumption of resignation if the employee, in his response to the aforementioned official notice, invokes medical reasons, exercising the right of withdrawal provided for in Article L 4131.-1, exercising the right to strike provided for In Article L 2511-1, the employee refused to carry out instructions contrary to the regulation or to amend the employment contract at the initiative of the employer. In short, it is not as simple as an initially conceived text might lead you to expect.
Study the economic and social consequences before changing laws
In the end, if the uptake of job abandonment in resignation is primarily driven by reasons of immediate savings, is this really the case over time? In France, the economic and social assessment of the results of the criteria is marginal. While the law of April 15, 2009 mandated that an impact study be attached to certain bills, this system has not been sufficiently mobilized to improve the quality of laws and combat benchmark inflation. As can be seen from the absorption of job abandonment into resignation, it is essential that the French legislator take a measure of all the direct and indirect effects caused by any bill, before it becomes a new rule. Scholars, particularly in law, economics, or even sociology, can be mobilized to objectively assess the potential consequences of these changes for workers, firms, and the economy as a whole, in order to prevent unexpected outcomes and to promote informed debate about proposed changes.