What does the GPEC bill mean for employees and jobseekers in France?

Forward-looking management of jobs and skills (GPEC) is one of the points addressed by the “Professional Future” bill currently being debated in the French National Assembly. GPEC is part of the individualization of training rights, one of the guidelines of the bill that has already been adopted by the French National Assembly and which is set to lead to a sea-change in skills management within companies. What are the consequences of the GPEC bill for jobseekers?

Co-construction and negotiation

The general philosophy of the training reform bill, which aims to promote the autonomy of each asset in the evolution of its skills, also applies to the GPEC. This is why the text adopted in the National Assembly contains few measures on the subject, the objective being to allow for the establishment of a logic of co-construction between the social partners in the framework of social agreements. The setting up of an easily accessible personal training account in euros, provided for in the text, does not call into question the possibilities of employers adding to and matching this account.

Nevertheless, the bill contains some changes, such as the fact that the internal management of the Personal Training Account (CPF) under a three-year enterprise agreement, heretofore under utilised, will not be maintained. However, an amendment provides for a mechanism of collective matching which means that companies will therefore be able to provide, in the context of a three-year collective agreement, additional contributions to the CPF for their employees.

More communication around the GPEC

The GPEC bill does provide for changes in training funding, especially in terms of negotiation, dialogue and communication. In real terms this means that in the event of a business or industry agreement setting up a matching contribution to prepare skills development, employers will be required to explain to their employees their interest in investing in training and using all available resources.

The aim of this provision is to create areas of dialogue around the GPEC bill. This is where the professional interview will have an important role to play as it will be an opportunity to explain to employees that “opportunities to jointly build courses that are in line with their professional project and the transformation of trades”, as pointed out by Catherine Fabre, MP LREM who was responsible for the training and learning component of the bill. This stipulates that employees must receive information on the CPF and the career development council (CEP) during this interview.

Finally, if the obligation to draw up a balance sheet every six years is maintained, the sanctions regime applicable to companies with more than 50 employees will evolve, leaving the door open for further negotiation.