Union delegates, employee representatives on the works council, members of the CHSCT, etc. The various employee representatives hold a special place in the company. While these responsibilities confer certain advantages on them, they can also be a source of conflict with their employer. To the point of having a negative impact on the career? HR Consultant UK takes stock.
What changes on a daily basis?
In business, there are two types of representation. That which derives its legitimacy from an election such as for staff representatives in establishments with 11 or more employees, or employee representatives on the works council. The members of the health, safety and working conditions committee (CHSCT) and union representatives are, for their part, directly appointed by the staff or a union. Depending on the function, the workload will be more or less important, “especially as some representatives combine several mandates”, notes Dominique Jullien, responsible for the collective relationship part of the work for Lamy Social.
Monthly meetings to ask questions to the employer on the application of the regulations, to raise the aspirations of employees in the context of a reorganization or representation role at the time of collective negotiations for union representatives … with the works council or the employees, “the staff representatives will carry out paid delegation hours on their working time during their mandate. They will therefore not at their post during this timeà ”, notes Caroline Defournier, lawyer at Juritravail.
“When looking for a job, it is not compulsory to mention your activities as a staff representative. It is even rather inadvisable to specify it.”
Protection against dismissal
This special role guarantees employee representatives protection against dismissal, as Caroline Defournier confirms. “The procedure will be longer and more restrictive from the moment an employer decides to separate from a protected employee, whether he is titular or substitute. »Following the preliminary interview, the employer must include an item on the agenda for a meeting with the works council on the planned dismissal. He will have to explain the reasons and obtain the opinion of the committee. If it is a simple notice and the employer is not bound by it, “ dismissing the employee during this phase of the procedure is impossible, ”notes Dominique Jullien. It is in fact up to the labor inspectorate to make the final decision. In the absence of a compulsory works council from 50 employees, it is moreover directly the labor inspectorate which will be seized.
A brake on professional development?
Employee representatives benefit from other protection during their mandate: the impossibility of seeing their working conditions modify unilaterally. Change of hours, change from an individual office to a shared office … “These modifications, which may be imposed on an average employee, will however require the agreement of the protected employee,” testifies Caroline Defournier.
However, for Dominique Jullien: “being a staff representative is not intended to derive benefits. On the contrary, this can be a source of inconvenience. “Foremost among which is the brake on professional development. “Case law abounds in this kind of situation,” he assures us. Other drawbacks, “there are still employers today who do not appreciate having employee representatives in their company and who will subject them to a wage freeze or a shelving,” notes Caroline Defournier. The labor tribunal is then competent to rule on this type of discrimination and force the employer to remedy it if necessary.
CV, interview: should we talk about it?
When looking for a job, it is in no way obligatory to mention on his CV or during an interview his activities as a staff representative. It is even rather inadvisable to specify it, affirms Dominique Jullien: “Site supervisor, delivery driver, project manager … A person looking for a job without direct link with HR responsibilities does not need to mention it. On the contrary, it could be detrimental to his candidacy. Except perhaps also for a few positions as responsible for social dialogue. ”
A point of view that Caroline Defournier also confirms: “In an ideal world, the candidate should be able to talk about it. But given the still recent case law at the level of the Court of Cassation, there is indeed such discrimination. Some employers could indeed very quickly put aside such CVs, for fear of bringing in a too vindictive person in their company, even though the law prohibits this kind of discrimination in hiring!