An executive wrongly subject to a flat-rate pay agreement covering days worked, failing to meet the minimum remuneration condition, cannot claim a salary adjustment

In this case, an employee, hired as a top manager, was subject to a flat-rate pay arrangement in days (« forfait-jours »).

But, his total compensation did not reach the eligibility threshold set by the applicable collective agreement, i.e., at least 150% of the minimum wage for the coefficient assigned.

After his dismissal, the employee claimed the wages corresponding to the level of remuneration required by the collective agreement to be eligible for the flate-rate pay agreement.

If the Court of appeal had favourably accepted this request, the Court of Cassation heard it differently by stating that “if employees who do not receive remuneration at least 50% higher than the minimum contractual wage of the coefficient cannot be validly subject to a flat-rate pay arrangement in days, neither the collective agreement of 25 June 1999 nor that of 20 February 1979 require the employer to ensure such a level of remuneration to these employees”.

In other words, an employee who is wrongly subject to a flat-rate pay arrangement is not entitled to claim the level of remuneration that conditioned such arrangement.
As a reminder, the Court of Cassation had already ruled on the same logic in 2011, regarding the coefficient: an employee wrongly subject to a flat-rate pay arrangement in days due to an insufficient coefficient cannot claim the benefit of the minimum coefficient associated thereto.

French Supreme Court, 28 June 2018, no. 18-28.344