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Article | Global News Briefs

France: New gender equality requirements for employers

By Steve Farrugia and Sylvie Girbal | January 31, 2022

France’s Rixain Law strengthens regulations to support gender equality in the workplace through gender-based quotas and expanded reporting requirements.
Inclusion-and-Diversity|Benessere integrato|Ukupne nagrade

Employer Action Code: Act

Law 2021-1774 (also known as the Rixain Law/Loi Rixain, after its main sponsor) has amended various laws to promote gender equality in the workplace, education and in general business practices. The employment-related changes include introducing minimum gender-based quotas for senior executive employees and board members in all large companies starting in 2026 and expanding reporting requirements related to the professional equality index (PEI) (see 2018 Global News Brief article: France: Gender pay reporting requirements announced).

Key details

The law will be implemented gradually between 2022 and 2029. Noteworthy provisions include:

  • Effective December 27, 2021, companies with 50 or more employees must provide the distribution of men and women in senior executive and board member positions as part of their economic, social and environmental reporting (BDESE) to the company’s Social and Economic Committee (CSE). In addition, teleworking agreements must have provisions to allow pregnant employees to telework, if possible.
  • Since June 1, 2021, companies with 50 or more employees must disclose, on top of the global score, the values of the mandated gender-related pay equality elements that make up their overall annual PEI (previously only the overall PEI score had to be published, on the company’s website). Effective March 1, 2022, companies with a PEI of less than 75 (out of 100) must also disclose corrective measures as well as targets to be achieved under gender equality plans made in consultation with the CSE.
  • Also as of March 1, 2022, large companies (i.e., those with 1,000 or more employees) must disclose the gender composition of their senior executive staff (as defined by the Labor Code) and board members (as defined by the Commercial Code) to the Ministry of Labor (MoL). The information will be published annually on the MoL website starting March 2023.
  • Effective December 27, 2022, salaries of employees must be paid into accounts in their name, in order to strengthen the financial independence of women. Payment of salaries into accounts solely in the name of third parties will be prohibited.
  • Starting March 1, 2026, large companies will further be subject to gender-based quotas of at least 30% for senior executives and board members, applying to both men and women (increasing to 40% in March 2029). Employers that fail to meet the quotas must establish action plans and corrective measures in their gender equality plans. Companies that still fail to meet their quota after two years may be subject to fines of up to 1% of their annual payroll, from March 1, 2029.

Employer implications

The Rixain Law is the latest in a series of measures taken in recent years to address gender inequality. According to the most recent PEI data (2020), fewer than two of the 10 highest-paid employees were women in 43% of large employers. The gradual implementation of representation quotas is intended to give companies time to address the gender issues concerned and adapt their long-term planning. Employers should begin reviewing their employment, pay and reporting processes in order to remain compliant.


Senior Rewards Consultant, Gender Equity Expert, Willis Towers Watson France
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