Professional interview: the deadline is drawing near!

February 26th 2016

Since March 7, 2014, a professional interview must be organised every two years as from the employee’s hiring.

The purpose of this meeting is to discuss with the employee his / her career prospects, in particular in terms of job qualification and employment (it is not an employment appraisal interview).

The employer must provide and keep a written report of this meeting, a copy of which shall be provided to the employee.

It must be noted that a meeting must systematically be proposed to an employee upon her / his return from a long period of absence (maternity leave, parental leave…).

Before March 7, 2020, the employees hired before March 7, 2014 shall benefit from:

1) on the one hand, at least two of the three following training or career development initiatives:

  • to benefit from vocational training;
  • to achieve accreditation from the training or through a professional skills validation;
  • a salary or career progression.

Over a period of six years, each employee must therefore benefit from at least two of the three of these training initiatives.

2) on the other hand, a career assessment:

Every six years, the professional interview is the opportunity to review the employee’s professional career to verify that he / she has benefited from two of the three training initiatives mentioned above.

Again, the employer shall draft and keep a written report of this interview, a copy of which shall be provided to the employee.

If the employer fails to respect these provisions, sanctions are provided for companies of less than 50 employees. Upon failure to hold a professional interview or implement two of the training initiatives within a period of six years, the employer shall contribute 100 hours to the employee’s personal training account (PTA) for a full-time employee (130 hours for a part-time employee) and pay the OPCA (accredited training fund) an amount equal to the number of these hours multiplied by 30€.

However, regardless of the company workforce, the holding of these obligatory professional interviews and training or career development initiatives mentioned above are of considerable importance.

Indeed, Article L 6321-1 of the French Labour Code recalls that the employer has an obligation of adaptation and training development to its employees; case law regularly sanctions employers when they fail to comply with this obligation, by awarding damages to the employees (Cour de Cassation (French Civil Supreme Court), Employment Section, September 24, 2015 – no.14-10410).

Finally, it must be recalled that, in the event of a dismissal procedure for economic reasons, the employer must respect the reclassification obligation for its employees whose positions have been phased out, along with the obligation to ensure their adaptation for their employment progression. The lack of professional interviews or training initiatives could give rise to the judges deciding that the employer has not fulfilled its reclassification obligation and that the dismissal for economic reasons is therefore without real and serious cause.

Chrystelle DAUB