Notwithstanding the extensive financial support of the government, the pandemic has put a great strain on many companies in France, leaving them no choice but to restructure and downsize their workforce. In companies required to implement a social plan (i.e., companies with 50 employees or more planning to terminate the employment of at least 10 employees over a 30-day period), the project — whether collectively agreed-upon with unions or unilaterally set by the employer — must be signed off by the labor authorities. Without this validation, any subsequent dismissal could be held null and void and entitle employees wrongly terminated to reinstatement or payment of damages.

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