Detention and advanced school holidays: can my employer refuse to change my vacation?

The essentials The school calendar will be changed in April due to the new restrictions announced by Emmanuel Macron. Can an employee change the vacation that has already been taken? Can an employer impose new data on its employees? La Dépêche takes stock.

“How are we going to organize ourselves?” This is the question many parents asked themselves on the evening of March 31st after Emmanuel Macron’s speech. Childcare during the spring break or even reserved stays: almost everything fell apart.

While the spring break was scheduled from April 17th to May 3rd at the Toulouse Academy, the dates are the same for all of France from April 10th to 26th. Next week, France’s 12 million students will be home teaching again. The same situation will physically return to class in the week of April 26th only for college students and pupils, kindergarten and elementary school.

A mystery to millions of parents who are not really happy about agreeing to telework and get their child back to school. Or forced to change the family organization planned for the holidays. What are the prospects for employees?

Nothing obliges the employer to accept

Can an employee change their vacation dates to suit them and does the employer have to accept this? “The detention is not a case of force majeure,” explains Me Isabelle Pontal, lawyer specializing in social law at FTMS. The employer has the right to refuse the change. Once the vacation has been taken and accepted, there is no legal obligation on the part of the employer to accept the postponement of the paid vacation.

The paid vacation must “be communicated to each employee one month before his departure in any case,” it says in the Labor Code.

Try to negotiate with your employer

An employer can agree at any time to change the dates of the vacation of his employees. “It can be a friendly negotiation between the employee and the employer,” explains Me Isabelle Pontal, “but objectively, if the employer does it for you, he will be forced to do it for everyone. He objectively justifies his acceptance . ” it for one and not for the other? “

Also read: School closings: We give you details on the calendar for schools, colleges and high schools that was changed in April

The employer cannot set any dates

The next few weeks will be complicated for companies. If an employee chooses a childcare break and resumes their paid vacation, they are several weeks away from their company.

However, an employer does not have the right to impose vacation dates on its employees. “It’s impossible. You have paid vacation appointments. If the employer said I was going to put you on paid vacation from April 18 to May 31, he would miss the one month deadline. The employer cannot enforce his. ” Employees should now take paid vacation “. An ordinance of March 25, 2020 authorizes employers who have concluded a collective agreement to impose up to six working days of paid vacation until June 30, 2021.

Employers encouraged to be flexible

The social partners met with Labor Minister Elisabeth Borne on Thursday afternoon to take stock of the announcements made by Emmanuel Macron. At the end of this exchange, a press release from the ministry said: “Employers are asked to facilitate the vacation of their employees who have children on the new school vacation dates (April 10-26, 2021) than they had already planned your vacation for later dates “. Specifically, “it was agreed with the social partners that this solution should be implemented within the framework of the dialogue between employees and employers”.