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The French Supreme Court confirms that an employee cannot be, at the same time, a member of the Social and Economic Committee and a trade union representative to this Committee

French Supreme Court, 11 September 2019, n°18-23.764

In a decision of 11 September 2019, the French Supreme Court had to rule on the validity of the appointment of an employee as a trade union representative to the Social and Economic Committee (SEC) while she had previously been elected member of this Committee.

In this case, an employee who was a deputy member of the SEC had also been appointed as a union representative to this body. The employer challenged the validity of the appointment on the basis of an incompatibility between the two functions.

The local civil Court granted merits to the employer’s case and required the employee to choose between her function as an elected representative and her appointment as a union representative. In the absence of a choice, the Court held that the appointment as union representative to the SEC would be null and void.

The French Supreme Court rejected the employee’s appeal and upheld the decision of the local civil Court. The principle applicable for the Works Council is therefore also applicable to the SEC, even if the deputy members can now only sit on the Committee in the absence of the full members.