What is the law in the event of a summer closure of your business?

21/08/2018 by Hicham HMICHE


summer closure of your business

For many SMEs, the summer closure of the company can turn into a real administrative headache if there is no real organization upstream. However, laws exist to regulate and simplify this procedure.

Two different ways to approach holidays for each company

When it comes to summer business closures, each employer has two distinct options to better address the summer vacation period. In the first case, the employer may decide to stop all the company's activities within the legal limit of four consecutive weeks. This choice leads all employees of the company to take their leave at the same time. In the second case, the employer chooses not to interrupt the company's activities during the summer period. To do this, it is important to organize with employees to distribute the various departures on leave, so that you always have an operational team.

What does the law say?

The first thing to consider is that the law clearly stipulates that the legal period of leave is between May 1 and October 1 of each year. In the event of a summer closure of the company, management is required to notify all employees at least two months before the start of the holiday period. Thus, management has until March 1 at the latest to announce the company's summer closing date. If the company continues to operate in the summer, it will have to spread its leave over its employees. In this scenario, management is required to keep each employee informed of his or her leave dates at least one month in advance. In addition, the law states that each employee is entitled to 2.5 working days of leave for each month of work performed. This allows each employee to claim 30 days of paid leave each year if 12 months of work have been completed during the reference period.

Schedule holidays to ensure your activity

The summer closure of the company can have many undesirable effects, both on management and employees. This is certainly what emerges from this, according to the many employers interviewed on this issue. Indeed, the summer closure of the company can lead many SMEs to miss new contracts, or even to lose some regular customers who would tend to go to other service providers, more available in summer.
The holiday staggering system therefore allows companies to operate better, even in summer. In addition, this system offers employees greater flexibility in choosing their holiday dates. To better ensure permanence during the holiday period, more and more companies are relying on versatile employees who are able to jump from one department to another to ensure its operation. Other companies opt for services working in pairs, so that the second employee can replace the first in case of absence. This option may be too expensive for SMEs starting out.

The summer closure of the company: a more economical response

For some financial observers, the summer closure of the company is the most appropriate response for many companies that are still feeling the effects of the economic crisis. The summer closure makes it possible to directly balance the vacation counters of all employees. This process therefore allows the company to be able to count on all its employees during periods when its professional activity explodes.
Especially since each employer may subsequently have to change its leave plan in order to ensure the sustainability and profitability of its business.

Organize with employee representatives

The question of the company's summer closure concerns both the management itself and all the employees who will be affected. For this reason, the employer must consult the employee representatives in order to obtain what will be perceived as the collective expression of employees.
This is all the more crucial given that the choice to close the company in the summer can put several employees in difficulty, particularly those who have not earned enough days off. In some cases, the latter could no longer even claim short-time working as financial assistance.

Some tips for newly hired employees

When you have just been hired by a company that opts for summer closure, it is normal not to have acquired enough rights to benefit from compensation during the closing period. In addition, the law does not allow the employer to impose early leave on employees. Finally, on 1 July 2013, a legal provision allowing the employer to initiate a procedure of partial unemployment for paid leave was abolished. In this case, what is the procedure to be followed by the employee in order to assert his rights? Nothing could be simpler: the employee is called upon to request assistance from Pôle Emploi in connection with his unpaid leave. To benefit from this assistance, the employee in question had to have access to the Return to Employment Assistance (ROE) before he or she joined his or her current position during the reference period. Finally, it should be noted that in this case, it is the employee's responsibility to follow this procedure and not the employer's.

Adapting to the rhythm of your customers

The sustainability of each company depends on the trust placed in it by its customers. It makes perfect sense to calibrate your closing dates to accommodate your most important customers. This advice also makes sense for SMEs with customers abroad. Each country has its own summer customs and in many places around the world, August is not especially considered as the month of holidays and the beach. Therefore, it is important for each company to adapt its summer closure according to its customers' schedules.

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