The CNE law was discreetly passed in August 2005, without as much social action as the CPE, as it applies to small companies where unions have no representatives. However, the repeal of the CNE was a main goal of the October 4, 2005 large demonstrations. But after cancellation of the First Employment Contract in April 2006, unions have increased pressure on this contract and request its cancellation considering it will create "precarity" for employees, endangering job security.
Opponents of the law argue that this new "flexibility" is in fact a negation of labour laws which the workers' movement had managed to impose after decades of struggles. They argue that it may be very difficult to counter the inversion of the burden of the proof brought by the new contract, for example when the employee was fired because of psychological pressions (e.g. sexual harassment). Furthermore, they underline that contrary to a CDI indeterminate contract which helps employees convince banks to accord them credits or to find accommodation (one must take into account, especially in Paris, the difficulties to find a flat, since many financial guarantees are requested and the prices are very expensive), CNE makes it very difficult to find accommodation or bank credits (since bankers or owners are wary of the possibility that the employee might be fired and thus not be able to pay what he owes them). Such claim, however, has clearly been denied by banks in the practice of granting loans.
Following the February 20, 2006 judgment (see below), the CGT trade-union declared that "the magistrate has put in evidence the embezzlement of the CNE and the abusive character of the rupture": "it is the principle itself of the CNE which allows such illegitimate use: by suppressing the guaranties which protect against abusive firing, the CNE favorize all arbitrary bosses' behavior".
On April 28, 2006, a local labour court (conseil des prud'hommes) considered that the two-years period of "fire at will" (without any legal motive) was "unreasonnable", and contrary to the convention n°158 of the International Labour Organization (ratified by France) which states that an employee "can't be fire without any legitimate motive" and "before offering him the possibility to defend himself".
Read more about this topic: Contrat Nouvelle Embauche
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