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Not counting young people in the workforce is illegal

(B2) The Court of Justice of the EC advocated the annulment of the 2005 order allowing the youngest workers not to be counted in the workforce. This measure, implemented by the government of Villepin (UMP), as part of the "emergency plan for employment" to encourage the hiring of young people by SMEs, aimed to compensate for the threshold effect in SMEs which would have been exempted from the obligations to inform and consult workers. The five representative unions (CGT, CFDT, CFTC, CFE-CGC, CGT-FO), had then, in common front, seized justice.

The Court considers that both Directive 2002/14 (information and consultation of workers) and Directive 98/59 (collective redundancies) prohibit this mechanism. They oppose national rules which exclude, even temporarily, a specific category of workers from the calculation of the number of workers employed ". If the first text leaves “to the Member States (the care) to determine the method of calculation of the thresholds of employed workers, the very definition of the concept of worker” must be common. As for the second text, it provides for “minimum requirements” from which Member States can only derogate “ by provisions more favorable to workers. (ECJ, January 18, 2007, CGT and others, case C-385/05)


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).