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CSE legal assistance: what is it for? and why is it useful to elected officials?

CSE legal assistance: what is it for? and why is it useful to elected officials?

In France, all companies with more than 11 employees must set up an employee representation body: the company social committee. The latter will be responsible for representing employees to management and promoting social dialogue within the company. This is an obligation for the employer under pain of a penal sanction. In this article, we are going to address the question of the usefulness for CSE elected representatives of benefiting from legal assistance on a daily basis.

The CSE in a nutshell

On September 22, 2017, Ordinance No. 2017-1386 amended the Labor Code to create the establishment social and economic committee (CSE). The latter merges all the employee representative bodies, namely:

  • The works council
  • Staff representatives
  • The health, safety and working conditions committee

This reform should be implemented by companies no later than January 1, 2020, but the health crisis has made the implementation of this reform more complicated. Today, there are many elected CSEs who have to deal with legal issues concerning the setting up of the CSE, its mode of operation (decisions, opinions, consultation, competences, etc.), about the many negotiations that will have to be conducted within companies, on the subject of relations between the employer and his employees, on the subject of labor law in general.

Consulting firms specializing in labor law and human resources management offer services tailored to the needs of companies.

What are the benefits of CSE legal assistance?

Calling on experts inCSE legal assistance has a number of benefits.

First, it represents a considerable saving of time since these consultants are legal professionals and professionals in the field of human relations. In a company, the CSE must be able to quickly provide answers to the problems that arise, particularly when it comes to a question concerning the rights of employees.

Then, the members of the CSE are also employees of the company. They have little time to devote to their elective functions and the fact of obtaining precise and clear answers quickly reinforces the effectiveness of employee representative bodies.

Finally, because everyone has their own job, lawyers will provide better quality answers as well as assistance that will bring weight to arguments in business negotiations.

What is the use of CSE legal assistance on a daily basis?

Since the merger between the works council, the staff representatives and the health, safety and working conditions committee, the CSE has taken on a certain number of responsibilities. These various powers are exercised within the economic framework of the company, but the CSE also has social functions, occupational health and safety control functions as well as environmental functions.

There are many legal issues likely to arise at the CSE. They may relate to the nature of the company's activities and the compliance of the processes put in place with a certain number of standards. They may concern the rights of employees, their working conditions, but also on the functioning of the CSE, on its attributions and on the limits of its competences. To ensure quality representation to employees and to management, it is important to be well supported.

How do consulting firms adapt to business needs?

All companies are not the same size, do not have the same governance structure, the same corporate form and do not operate in the same sector of activity. How do expert firms manage to offer personalized services adapted to the needs of companies?

First, CSEs must have access to sources of information both reliable and up-to-date. Expert firms therefore offer to offer CSEs access to databases that are as qualitative as they are easy to consult.

Then, the firms offer personalized consulting services to respond to the specific problems encountered by the elected representatives of the CSEs in the exercise of their elective mandate.

Interest training services are also in great demand within companies.

Finally, these experts also propose carrying out representation missions in the context of the settlement of disputes amicably or in court.

For the committees, it's a good investment given the positive feedback from all the employees they represent.

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