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Works council cannot appoint accountant before 1st consultation meeting

The works council is entitled to be assisted by an accountant during the consultation process in relation to the economic and financial situation of the company.

However, the French Supreme court held that the works council cannot appoint the accountant prior to the consultation meeting during which the employer provides the annual accounts.

In this case, this rule was applied strictly, as the works council had appointed the accountant only 15 days before this meeting.

If the accountant is appointed before this meeting, the works council shall bear the cost of the accountant’s fees.

This clarification is important in practice as works councils tend to appoint the accountant several weeks, or even several months, before the start of the consultation process.

This decision also applies to the consultations in relation to the company’s strategic orientations and social policy.

French supreme court, 28 March 2018, 16-12707