As France goes through an economic crisis linked to the coronavirus pandemic, it could face a wave of layoffs. In a survey revealed by Le Parisien at the end of May, 22% of bosses think they will have to lay off in the coming months. Dismissal as the ultimate solution for survival? Some companies are already using it, as Europe 1 saw on Monday.
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Nine people laid off out of 17 employees
"To date, unfortunately, nine of my employees have been informed of this economic decision," says George Richard, owner of L'Atelier du vin, a store that employs 17 people near Beauvais. He regrets that he had no choice but to dismiss.
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Without turnover since March, he had to start the first redundancy procedures to save his business. "It's terrible", he breathes but "I have to reduce my payroll". George Richard evokes "heavy decisions" which, "beyond the professional aspects, cut the heart". Since most of his employees are people he has known since childhood. But "the economic constraint is far too strong," he notes.
"The act is very marginal but the reflection is there"
Cases like this one, France risks seeing hundreds of them within a few months, and in all sectors. Eric Manca, a lawyer in labor law, is assisting more and more companies that prepare layoff plans. "At the moment, I'm working on a real project of collective redundancy for economic reasons," he explains.
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"The others are in reflection. For the moment, the act is very marginal," he notes. "But the reflection is there, and constant." If at the start of the school year, the recovery is not massive, the damage will be enormous, fears a manager of the construction industry.