Strike: delay at work, salary, taxis, RTT… 10 questions that employees can ask themselves

Strike: delay at work, salary, taxis, RTT… 10 questions that employees can ask themselves

“France on hold”, for how long? The unions have promised a historic mobilization for this sixth day of action against pension reform and several sectors have already called for a renewable strike. What will be the impact on the wages of the striking employees? Will non-strikers be able to telework without restriction? With blocked roads and a very disrupted traffic in transport in common, getting to work can become complicated for many employees. Will they be penalized for being late? What if they can’t reach their place of work? Le Parisien answers ten questions that striking or non-striking employees may ask themselves.

I am on strike, what will be the consequence on my salary?

When an employee declares himself to be on strike within his company, he should expect to see his monthly remuneration reduced accordingly. “The exercise of the right to strike results in the suspension of the employment contract. The employer can therefore make a deduction from salary corresponding to the duration of the absence, ”explains Anne-Lise Castell, jurist at Tissot editions. Loss of wages must be proportional, but the calculations are different between public and private sectors. Note that the employer is not obliged to make this deduction.

What rules for civil servants and striking employees?

Between the public and private sectors, the conditions differ. Public employees wishing to strike have the obligation to file a written notice with the hierarchical authority at least five days before the start of the strike. In the private sector, on the other hand, no notice period is necessary. In other words, employees do not have to inform their employer of their plan. Two exceptions remain, however: the staff of private companies responsible for managing a public service, such as the SNCFand air transport employees must respect a notice period.

Can my employer sanction me if I arrive late?

“There is theory and practice,” explains Caroline André-Hesse, a lawyer specializing in labor law. If in theory, the employee arrives late and does not inform his hierarchy, he can be sanctioned. But in exceptional circumstances like those of Tuesday, with a strike and traffic disruptions, such a sanction will be difficult to justify, ”she says. The best solution is to warn your employer in advance of the difficulties you may encounter in getting to work.

I can’t get to work, will I be paid?

What if an employee is unable to reach his workplace at all, despite all his good will? As a general rule, he arranges with his boss to convert his day of absence into RTT or paid leave. But what if the employee refuses, alleging that he spent that day trying to get back to his job? “He will not be paid”, assures Caroline André-Hesse.

For her colleague Delphine Borgel, also specialized in labor law, this assertion can be called into question. “If the employer decides not to pay his employee for this day when the latter has done everything to come and that he justifies it, he contravenes the principle of the prohibition of the pecuniary penalty provided for in Article L1331-2 of the Labor Code”, she believes, recalling however that this would be “it is a school hypothesis”.

Can I leave work early?

To avoid major difficulties on their return journey, can an employee ask to leave work earlier than usual? “The law does not provide for anything in this case, but that does not mean that it is not possible”, underlines Corinne Metzger, lawyer specializing in labor law. The simplest solution is to talk about it with your employer. “Some collective agreements may even provide for early departures, under certain conditions. Arrangements can also be made, such as coming an hour earlier in the morning and leaving an hour earlier in the evening.

Can I refuse a business trip?

Faced with a black day in transport due to a strike, can the employee cancel a trip? In principle no. “If the employer considers that we have to travel, we are supposed to do so,” emphasizes Caroline André-Hesse. Declining a professional appointment is only possible in the event that “there is a risk to the health of the employee or to his safety”, adds Corinne Metzger. But the strike does not imply either one or the other.

Does the employer pay for alternative transport?

Lots of users will try to book a ride by VTC, taxi, or carpool, in case of force majeure, to reach their place of work or return home. Will they be reimbursed by their employer? Unless agreed in advance, the latter is not required to reimburse alternative transport costs. This will depend on “his good will”, but also on the “status of the employee”, indicates Delphine Borgel. “An executive benefiting from the reimbur*****t of expense reports could, for example, use this device to be reimbursed for his taxi journeys, if his employer accepts it”, imagines the lawyer.

Can I be refused an RTT?

Faced with the disturbances linked to the strike, some employees can take their precautions and ask to ask for an RTT. Does the employer have the right to refuse their request? It all depends on the company agreements. There is a legal framework for taking RTT, which provides that half of these days are taken according to the choice of the employee and the other half according to that of the employer. “The company agreements can follow this framework, or decide that the employee alone will choose all his RTTs or, conversely, that the RTTs will all be chosen by the employer”, explains Delphine Borgel. As part of a day of RTT chosen by the employee, “the employer cannot refuse”, she assures.

Can my employer refuse me telecommuting?

Telework is now organized within the framework of the company according to different texts: “a collective agreement, a charter, or the note from the employer who gives the schedules”, quotes Delphine Borgel in particular. “If a certain flexibility is provided for in the texts of the company, the employee will be able to rely on it in order to ask to telecommute on the day of the strike and the employer will not be able to refuse”, indicates the lawyer. If, on the other hand, no rule exists concerning telework, the employee, who must respect the working conditions set by the employer, could see his request refused.

Can I take time off to watch my children?

No, the strike cannot justify a work stoppage, assures Caroline André-Hesse. “If the employee wishes not to work on this day, he can take a day of RTT or a day off, but he cannot stop, as if he were sick”. However, some collective agreements may provide for days for employees with custody problems. “But this is not a general principle”, emphasizes Corinne Metzger.

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