In principle, an employer may not appoint a person who is not an employee or corporate officer of the company to implement disciplinary actions or notify sanctions.
However, French case law introduced flexibility where the employer company belongs to a group. In a recent decision of June 28, 2023, the French Supreme Court confirmed the rules in this respect.
In that case, the employee was claiming that his dismissal was unlawful on the grounds that the preliminary dismissal had been conducted by the manager of another group company. Dismissing the employee’s claim, the Court of Appeal noted that the manager was appointed by the group to act as an external consultant for all group companies, particularly in the field of human resources management.
The French Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal considering that the dismissal had been lawfully notified.
The Supreme Court expressly referred to the fact that the manager had effectively acted for the employer company and was not a stranger to that company since he had conducted an internal audit and implemented the required modifications in the internal processes.