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Does an employee have to follow their company if they move?

Verified 06 August 2021 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

An employee may not refuse a change of place of work if the employee is in one of the following 2 cases:

  • The change shall be made in the same geographical area as that provided for in the employment contract

In other cases, the employee's agreement is necessary.

The concept of geographical area is not strictly defined. It is often about the labour pool.

In the event of a dispute, the judge shall decide on the characteristics of the geographical area, on a case-by-case basis, taking into account, for example, the following conditions:

  • Distance between initial site and new site
  • Access to public transport
  • Longer journey time
Same geographic

When the company moves to the geographic area of the original workplace, it is a simple change in the working conditions that is required of the employee.

The employee's agreement is therefore not necessary.

If he refuses to change places of work, he may dismissed for personal reasons.

Outside the sector

The employment contract provides for a mobility clause

The employee's agreement is not necessary when the company moves as soon as its employment contract provides for mobility clause.

This clause must delimit the precise zone where the mutation can be considered (department, region, entire France).

The employee's refusal justifies termination for personal reasons.

No contract

Employees cannot be forced to follow the company that employs them.

The employee's agreement is mandatory because it is a modification of his employment contract.

If the transfer of the place of work is due to economic difficulties or mobility agreement, the employer shall propose the modification of the employment contract by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

The employee has 1 month to refuse this change (15 days if the company is in reorganisation or liquidation).

In case of refusal, the employee shall be entitled to the dismissal for economic reasons.

Warning  

the employee is considered to have accepted the change if he or she has not responded within the time limit.