Public service litigation: what is mandatory mediation?

Verified 26 February 2024 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Mediation is a prerequisite that is mandatory for you, in some cases, if you are a National Education Officer or a Territorial Officer when you are considering challenging a decision of your employer’s administration before the Administrative Tribunal. We will detail the cases in which this prior procedure is mandatory.

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

The purpose of mediation is to settle a dispute and toto avoid proceedings before the administrative court.

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

Only if mediation fails can you go to the judge.

If you go to the administrative court without having completed the compulsory prior mediation procedure, the judge rejects your request and forwards it to the competent mediator.

Agents concerned

You are affected by the mandatory pre-mediation procedure if you are in one of the following situations 2 :

  1. You are national education official or contractor assigned to a rectorate or departmental department (Desden), a nursery or elementary school, a college or a high school of one of the following academies:
    • Aix-Marseille
    • Bordeaux
    • Clermont-Ferrand
    • Lyon
    • Montpellier
    • Nantes
    • Nice
    • Normandy
    • Paris
    • Rennes
    • Versailles
  2. Or you are territorial official or contractor an employee in a community or public institution who has entered into an agreement with the management center to mediate.


The management centers provide the administrative tribunals with a list of the communities that have concluded an agreement.

Decisions concerned

The decisions to be subject to mandatory prior mediation are as follows:

  • Unfavorable individual administrative decision relating to one of the elements of remuneration
  • Refusal of secondment or lay-off of an official
  • Denial of unpaid leave to raise a child under the age of 12 to a contractual person
  • Denial of unpaid leave for the care of a dependent child, spouse or partner Civil partnerships: titleContent or to a ascendant following an accident or serious illness or a disability requiring the presence of a third person
  • Denial of unpaid leave for a contractor to follow a Civil partnership or partner who is obliged to move for professional reasons
  • Refusal to grant unpaid leave for personal reasons to a contractor
  • Refusal to grant a contractor unpaid leave to set up or take over a company
  • Refusal to grant unpaid mobility leave to a contractor
  • Unfavorable individual administrative decision concerning the reinstatement of an official at the end of a secondment, availability or parental leave
  • Unfavorable individual administrative decision concerning the re-employment of a contractor at the end of unpaid leave
  • Unfavorable individual administrative decision concerning the classification of an official following a promotion to grade or internal promotion
  • Unfavorable individual administrative decision on training
  • Unfavorable individual administrative decision on access to or retention in employment of a staff member with a disability
  • Adverse individual administrative decision on appropriate measures in respect of a staff member with a disability
  • Unfavorable individual administrative decision concerning the adjustment of working conditions with a view to the reclassification of an official recognized as unfit for the performance of his duties

To National Education, the compulsory prior mediation procedure shall apply to decisions taken since 1er april 2022.

In the territorial civil service, it shall apply from 1er day of the month following the conclusion of the agreement between your employer community or institution and the management center.

When an individual decision is subject, in case of dispute, to compulsory prior mediation, the administration must inform you at the notification of the decision.

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

In the event of non-compliance with this obligation by your employer administration, the litigation before the administrative court does not apply and you may challenge the decision at any time.

If you are National Education Officer, compulsory prior mediation shall be provided by the academic mediator.

Who shall I contact

If you are territorial agent, compulsory prior mediation shall be carried out by the management center. The chairman of the management center shall designate the natural person or persons who carry out the compulsory prior mediation.

You must contact the competent mediator by post within the period of 2 months following the date of notification of the decision you are challenging.

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

Referral to the Ombudsman interrupt the time-limit for bringing proceedings before the Administrative Court.

That period shall begin to run again from the date on which either you, your administration, or the two of you, or the mediator, state unequivocally and by any means that the mediation has ended.

The cost eventual mediation is totally taken over by your employer administration.

You, and your employer's administration, may be assisted before the Ombudsman by any person of your choice.

The mandatory mediation procedure ends with a negotiated agreement or disagreement.

If an agreement is reached, the administration may withdraw the contested decision or take a new, more favorable decision.

If the discussions do not lead to an agreement, you can challenge the decision before the administrative judge.