"We are reaching an agreement which should be signed by the majority of the trade unions", declared Hubert Mongon, leader of the employers' delegation, after a long meeting.
After several months of complicated negotiations, the Medef, the CPME and U2P on the employers' side and the CGT, CFDT, FO, CFE-CGC and CFTC unions presented a text to "make the existing systems more accessible" and "continue to simplify the systems of profit-sharing, participation and employee shareholding and to strengthen their attractiveness".
It aims in particular to widely generalize systems such as profit-sharing, participation and value-sharing bonuses to all companies with more than 11 employees.
The agreement comes after a dozen meetings and months of negotiations still described at the end of January as "impossible" by the president of Medef, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, in a social context still tense by the pension reform project, on which unions and employers defend diametrically opposed positions.
"We have come a long way", also estimated Luc Mathieu (CFDT).
The national bodies of the trade unions must now decide whether or not to sign the agreement. At this stage, FO said it was in favor and the CFDT "not unfavorable", the other unions remaining reserved (CFE-CGC, CFTC, CGT).
Currently, there is participation (compulsory profit redistribution mechanism in companies with more than 50 employees) and profit-sharing (optional bonus linked to results or non-financial performance), which are accompanied by tax advantages.
At the invitation of the government, employers and unions had been working since November.
There are many obstacles, especially among very small, small and medium-sized enterprises (VSEs and SMEs). Despite the relaxations already decided in the Pacte law of 2019 and that of the summer of 2022 on purchasing power, the complexity and ignorance of the systems, lack of support, complex calculation formula for participation, administrative risks, etc. .
According to the statistical department of the Ministry of Labor (Dares), 88,5% of employees in companies with more than 1.000 people benefited from a value-sharing scheme in 2020, compared to less than 20% in those with less than 50. employees.
The new text provides that companies between 11 and 49 employees and which are profitable - whose net profit represents at least 1% of turnover for three consecutive years - "put in place at least a device" for sharing the value from January 1, 2025.
Companies with less than 11 employees "have the possibility" of sharing the profits with their employees.
In those of more than 50 employees, the participation will have to "better take into account" the results "achieved in France and presenting an exceptional character as defined by the employer" - enough to answer the controversies on the "superprofits" to through a largely symbolic formula.
The government for its part defends the track of an employee dividend to compensate for the erosion of purchasing power by inflation – a concept that the signatories of the agreement on Friday “undertake not to support”.
A binding law "during the quinquennium" was announced in the fall. In early January, the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, promised "concrete proposals" as well as "a convention" in February on this theme.