May 11, 2022

France’s government recently published decrees that provide further details on two gender equality laws — the Gender Equality Index issued in September 2018, and the Rixain Law — published on 24 December 2021. Decree 2022-243 sets out the steps that certain companies must take to improve their gender equality score under the Gender Equality Index, and Decree 2022-680 includes the calculation methods and requirements for publishing the progress targets for senior executive roles and management bodies.

Decree 2022-243 on Gender Equality Index

The Gender Equality Index requires companies with 50 or more employees to calculate their professional gender inequalities by 1 March of every year. Effective 26 February 2022, Decree 2022-243 requires that:

  • Companies scoring fewer than 75 points must prepare corrective measures to improve their score, or risk financial penalties.

  • Companies scoring between 75 and 85 points must define and set improvement targets for each gender equality criteria for which they did not score maximum points.

  • Companies publish their proposed remediation actions on their website, submit them to the Ministry of Labor, and integrate them into their Economic, Social, and Environmental Database (BDESE).

  • Companies will face sanctions if they do not publish their Gender Equality Index and if they do not take appropriate remedial action based on their scores. Sanctions include a formal compliance notice issued by the labor inspector, and/or up to 1% of the company’s wage bill calculated over the calendar year. 

Decree 2022-680 and the Rixain Law

The Rixain Law requires companies with 1,000 or more employees to publish, on their website, the representation gaps between women and men in senior executive roles (as defined by the Labor Code), and on their management bodies (as defined by the Commercial Code, and including management committees and executive committees). Effective 28 April 2022, the decree includes:

  • The calculation methods, requirements for publishing the progress targets, and corrective measures that will apply to identified discrepancies. A special timetable will be used for the 2021 accounting year, and companies will have to publish their gender representation data by 1 September 2022 at the latest.

  • The data for assessing companies’ representation gaps, which includes the percentages of women and men who are senior executives, and percentages of women and men represented on management bodies 

Companies must annually publish the gender representation information in a clear and visible format on their websites by 1 March, based on the previous year’s data. Companies also must annually update their information for publication on the Ministry of Labor’s website by 31 December. 

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