French Supreme Court, September 25, 2019, n°18-23.487
Elections are inter alia launched by the employer’s invitation to the unions to negotiate the pre-electoral agreement. Unions to be invited by post should receive the invitation no later than 15 days before the date of the first negotiation meeting (art. L. 2314-5 of the French Labour Code). Failure to comply with this deadline may result in the cancellation of the elections.
In the case at-hand, the local Court cancelled the elections of the social and economic committee held within a company on the grounds that the invitation to negotiate the pre-electoral agreement mentioned two meeting dates (“Tuesday 24 16 April 2018 at 8 a.m.”) and that, consequently, the Court was not in a position to verify whether it had been complied with the 15-day period between the receipt of the invitation and the meeting.
The French Supreme Court dismissed the company’s appeal against this decision on the grounds that, since the invitation mentioned two different dates for the negotiation meeting of the pre-electoral agreement, the union had not been duly convened to negotiate.
It is therefore necessary to prepare the documentation relating to the electoral operations with the greatest care, since a mere typo in the invitation letter to negotiate the pre-electoral agreement may lead to the cancellation of the elections.