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In the event of bankruptcy, “the employees will continue to have priority”, assures the president of the National Council of the administrators and legal representatives


Christophe Basse, president of the National Council of administrators and legal representatives, guest of franceinfo on March 3, 2021. (FRANCEINFO)

Until now, in the event of a company’s bankruptcy, priority has been given to paying the salaries of people left behind in bankruptcy proceedings. The government’s draft order, which could be applied as early as May 2021 and which worries the unions, provides for a reversal of priorities: the fees of court administrators, liquidators, must be paid before compensation for employees. Christophe Basse, the president of the National Council of administrators and judicial representatives, wants to be reassuring.

franceinfo: Trade unions and employers are opposed to this draft ordinance, what do you answer them?

Christophe Bass : What I want is to reassure them. Employees will continue to be paid and have priority in all companies in difficulty. There is no reverse. There is a government project that clarifies safety rules. It is a transposition of a mandatory European directive.

Why clarify a text that is already satisfactory to you?

There is no eel under the rock. I believe that the clearer the texts, the better, it is true that for the past ten years we have had somewhat confused texts that had to be clarified on the occasion, in particular of the transposition of a European directive into French domestic law. This should not create anxiety or an anxiety-provoking climate. France has a generous system for employees who have important guarantees compared to our neighboring countries. In these countries, it is the creditors who take the lead.

The AGS, the employee guarantee scheme, is managed by Medef, which opposes the French draft ordinance. Is there not a risk that employers’ contributions will increase?

You are right. There is a risk. We have seen that in Germany, this week, employer contributions have increased (…) This is probably the subject on which Medef must now address itself. We must take our responsibilities and not find scapegoats.

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