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The French government has once again made changes to the country’s two current furlough mechanisms: the common partial activity mechanism and the long-term partial activity mechanism.

Two decrees, No 2020-1316 and No 2020-1319, both dated October 30, 2020, were published on October 31, 2020 in the Official Journal of the French Republic.

Below is a brief overview of the main changes that will come into force on November 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

Authors: Séverine Martel

1. The common partial activity mechanism

  • Procedure

As of January 1, 2021, the maximum duration of the partial activity will be three months, as opposed to the current 12 months. The partial activity could be renewed up to six months whether consecutive or not over a period of 12 consecutive months.

In the event where the use of the partial activity mechanism is justified by either a disaster or inclement weather, the initial maximum duration will be six months.

Furthermore, when companies employing at least 50 employees make any new request for authorization implemented as of November 1, 2020, staff representatives – who must be consulted prior to the request for approval of the partial activity mechanism before companies contact the French Labor authorities – shall now be informed at the end of the authorization period of the conditions under which the partial activity has been implemented.

Finally, these decrees confirm the possibility for the companies having various units to make a single request for approval of the partial activity mechanism when this concerns at least 50 units, for the same period and purpose.