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Public Service Litigation: what is mandatory mediation?

Verified 01 avril 2022 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Are you a National Education or Territorial Officer and you plan to challenge a decision of your employer administration before the Administrative Court? In some cases, you have to initiate mediation before going to the administrative court.

Mediation is an approach that aims to enable you and your employer administration to reach an amicable agreement, with the help of a third mediator.

The purpose is to enable a dispute to be settled and to avoid a procedure before the Administrative Court.

For certain categories of decisions, prior mediation is mandatory before proceeding before the Administrative Court.

Only if mediation fails can you refer the matter to the judge.

If you enter the Administrative Court without having completed the compulsory prior mediation procedure, the judge will reject your application and forward it to the competent mediator.

Which agents are involved?

You are affected by the mandatory prior mediation procedure if you are in one of the following situations:

  • You are an official or contractual employee of the National Education and are assigned to the Rectorate or Departmental Services (Desden), a nursery or elementary school, a college or a high school of one of the following academies:
    • From 2 April 2022: Aix-Marseille, Clermont-Ferrand, Montpellier
    • From 1to June 2022: Bordeaux, Lyon, Nantes, Nice, Normandy, Paris, Rennes, Versailles
  • You are an official or territorial contractor employed in a community or public institution that has an agreement with the management centre to mediate

  FYI : management centres shall provide the administrative courts with a list of the communities that have concluded a convention.

What decisions are affected by compulsory prior mediation?

  • Unfavourable individual administrative decision concerning one of the elements of remuneration
  • Refusal of secondment or lay-off of an official
  • Refusal to grant a contractor unpaid leave to raise a child under the age of 8 to care for a dependent child, her spouse, her partner Civil partnerships, one ascending following an accident or serious illness or disability requiring the presence of a third party
  • Refusal to grant a contractor unpaid leave to follow his or her Civil partnership partner who has been forced to move for work reasons
  • Refusal to grant a contractor unpaid leave for personal reasons
  • Refusal to grant a contractor unpaid leave to create or resume a company
  • Refusal to grant a contractor unpaid mobility leave
  • Unfavourable individual administrative decision concerning the reinstatement of an official at the end of a secondment, availability or parental leave
  • Unfavourable individual administrative decision concerning the reinstatement of a contractor at the end of unpaid leave
  • Unfavourable individual administrative decision concerning the classification of an official following a promotion of rank or internal promotion
  • Unfavourable individual administrative decision concerning training
  • Unfavourable individual administrative decision concerning access to or continued employment of a disabled official
  • Unfavourable individual administrative decision concerning the preservation of equipment contributing to the adaptation of the work of a disabled staff member
  • Unfavourable individual administrative decision concerning the organisation of working conditions for the reclassification of an official recognised as unfit for the performance of his duties

In National Education, the compulsory prior mediation procedure is applicable to decisions which take place from 1to April 2022.

In the territorial civil service, it applies from 1to day of the month following the conclusion of the agreement between your employer community or institution and the management centre.

When an individual decision is subject to mandatory prior mediation in the event of a dispute, the administration must inform you of this at the notification of the decision.

Your employer's administration will inform you of the contact details of the competent mediator.

In case of non-compliance by your employer administration, the time limit for litigation does not apply and you can challenge the decision at any time.

If you are an agent of National Education, the obligatory prior mediation is provided by the academic mediator.

If you are a territorial agent, the management centre provides the necessary prior mediation. The president of the management centre shall designate the natural person or persons who carry out the compulsory prior mediation mission.

You must file a complaint with the Ombudsman by mail within 2 months of the date of notification of the decision you are challenging.

Your mail must be accompanied by a copy of the contested decision.

The filing of the complaint shall interrupt the time-limit for bringing the case before the Administrative Court.

This period shall begin again from the date on which either you, your administration, or you 2 or the mediator declare unequivocally and by any means that the mediation is terminated.

The potential cost of mediation is fully covered by your employer administration.

You, and your employer administration, can have any person of your choice assist you in front of the mediator.

If you hire grace or hierarchy after the organisation of the mediation, this ex gratia or hierarchical remedy does not interrupt the time limit for the contentious appeal.