MACRON SCALE: a long-awaited decision!

On 11 May 2022, the Social Chamber of the Court of Cassation, ruling in its plenary session, handed down a long-awaited decision for lawyers specialising in employment law. Indeed, the Court of Cassation has definitively validated the Macron scale contained in article L. 1235-3 of the French Labour Code (Soc., 11 May 2022, no. 21-14.490 and 21-15.247).

This scale provides, taking into account the size of the company and the seniority of the employee, a floor and a ceiling for compensation when a dismissal is considered to be without real and serious cause. 

This decision is in line with the decision of the French Constitutional Council of 21 March 2018 which declared the scales to be in conformity with the French Constitution and the favourable opinion issued by the Plenary Assembly of the Court of Cassation in July 2019.

Apart from the cases provided for by the law (in particular, harassment, discrimination, infringement of a public freedom), it will therefore no longer be possible for trial courts to refuse to apply the said compensation scales, even on a case-by-case basis, thereby making it possible to definitively secure, on the employer’s side, the employment disputes relating to dismissals.

The argument of the lawyers, on the employee side, which was based mainly on an in concreto assessment of the employees’ situations in order to be able to set aside this scale, was therefore overturned by the Court of Cassation, and should now be set aside by the courts.