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CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre successful on behalf of Auchan


Businesses subject to the national collective convention on retail and wholesale trade in or predominantly in groceries have been facing litigation over salaries. This relates in particular to the interpretation of the legal provisions governing the base figure for calculating the minimum wage, and convention provisions governing payment for breaks (due to the extent of 5% of actual time worked).

Against this background, proceedings were issued against Auchan France seeking judgment in respect of back pay.

Auchan France entrusted Laurent Marquet de Vasselot, a partner in CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre, with the defence of its interests.

The company provided the court with full information as to the policies and terms governing the remuneration paid to employees, which it explained in detail.

In particular, it demonstrated that it had complied with the applicable legislative provisions and with those of the convention.

It also drew attention to the agreement it had drawn up in conjunction with representative bodies, for the benefit of employees.

Having regard to that, Auchan's overall system of remuneration involved a strong policy of sharing with employees, who benefited amongst other things from a 13th month, a variable element of remuneration, and specific profit-sharing and share ownership schemes.

For example, it was demonstrated that Auchan redistributed to its employees, by way of profit-sharing and shares, almost a third of its pre-tax operating profit for 2009, and that this had led to each employee receiving total remuneration representing 15.7 months of average gross monthly salary.

The Court received Auchan France's submissions favourably, in relation to both the legislation and the collective convention.

By the 885 judgments given on 4 November, it dismissed the claimants' claims for judgment against their employer in respect of back pay.

For further information, please contact :
CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre
Florence Jouffroy / Tel: +33 1 47 38 40 32
Laetitia Mostowski / Tel: +33 1 47 38 40 74

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Portrait of Laurent Marquet de Vasselot
Laurent Marquet de Vasselot