When a company reduces its activity below the legal hours or periodically stops all or part of its activity and is not planning to break the employment contracts that bind it to its employees, it may resort to slack work.
The slack work compensation system makes it possible to manage an occasional drop in activity that is limited over time and has the civil year as its framework.
The device of slack work aims at avoiding redundancies: he allows a company which undergoes a loss of activity of economic, technical or natural nature, to reduce temporarily the schedules of its staff.
When the slack work goes on beyond 6 weeks, the employees whose contract of employment is suspended are considered as being looking for a job and can be allowed to the advantage of help allocation on returning to the employment paid by Pole Emploi; we speak then about " total slack work".
In 2008, to take into account the deteriorating economic outlook, DGEPF instruction n° 2008/19 of 25 November 2008 stipulated the conditions for a dynamic application of partial unemployment , involving for example favourable responses to requests by companies in judicial settlement with a view to turning them around takeovers, and to the requests from subcontracting firms affected by the problems of their clients, as well as a less clear-cut interpretation of the temporary nature of partial unemployment .
The instruction also provided a reminder of the other schemes that companies may use before turning to the State for partial unemployment: adaptation of working time within the framework of the Law of 20 August 2008, staff training, etc.