Droit Social | Jeux olympiques et paralympiques 2024 : nécessité d'adaptations en droit social

France will host the Olympic Games from July 26 to August 11, 2024, followed by the Paralympic Games from August 28 to September 8, 2024.

Faced with this exceptional situation, labor law had to adopt exceptional measures and needs to adapt to the demands imposed by this event, without undermining employees’ rights.

Law no. 2023-380 of May 19, 2023 (1) on the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, approved by the French Constitutional Council, and the implementing decree n°2023-1078 of 23 November 2023 (2), provides for a number of changes in labor law. However the lack of precision of this law seems to augur some difficulties in application.

• Suspension and derogation from weekly rest

According to article L.3132-2 of the French Labor Code, weekly rest is defined as “a minimum of twenty-four consecutive hours, plus consecutive hours of daily rest“. In the interests of employees, the weekly rest day is Sunday.

In France, the Labor Code also prohibits the same employee from working more than six days a week.

The organisation of the 2024 Olympic Games in France has been the opportunity to make an exception to the rule and allow the temporary suspension of the weekly rest period. This derogation will apply to retails establishments providing goods or services located in the municipalities where the competition venues are located, as well as in municipalities bordering on or near these venues (3).

This derogation concerns establishments experiencing an extraordinary increase in workload during the period from 18 July 2024 to 14 August 2024 :

– for the filming, transmission, broadcasting and retransmission of competitions organised as part of the Games;
– to ensure the activities relating to the organisation of the events and the operation of the “sites linked to the organisation and staging of the Olympic Games(4).

The wording of this article is open to question and seems to allow for an extensive interpretation. Some companies might be tempted to claim that these new provisions extend to their sector of activity, in contradiction with the legislator’s initial intention.

However, implementing decree, dated November 23, 2023 (5), has been adopted to define the terms and conditions of this exception. The derogation will be implemented in the establishment subject to the employee’s willingness, recorded in writing, it being specified that an employee deprived of Sunday rest may reverse his or her decision to work on Sunday at any time, provided he or she informs his or her employer in writing within ten clear days.

The employee will benefit from the compensatory measures defined by the French Labor Code, such as “Each employee deprived of rest at home will receive remuneration at least equal to double the remuneration normally due for an equivalent period, as well as an equivalent amount of time off in lieu(6).

• Specific rules for employees assigned to security

Employees of temporary employment agencies (ETTs) assigned to Olympic Games security may also be subject to dérogated rules from employment law.

Temporary employment agencies will be able to request an administrative inquiry before assigning one of their temporary employees to a task directly linked to the safety of people and property within a public passenger transport company, a dangerous goods transport company subject to the obligation to adopt a safety plan, or an infrastructure manager (7).

The purpose of this investigation will be to verify that the employee’s behavior “does not give serious reason to believe that he is likely, in the course of his duties, to commit an act seriously prejudicial to security or public order“.

Until now, only employees of transport companies or infrastructure managers could be subject to such surveys. From now on, temporary workers may also be subject to them.

• On the other hand, no specific provisions seem to have been made for remote work

As we have already seen it during the Covid-19 the question of the remote work may have arisen in connection with the arrival of the Olympic Games.

As a reminder, remote work requires a written request from the employee and written authorization from the employer. In other words, remote work is a two-way process.

According to article L1222-11 of the French Labor Code, the employer may override this requirement for double voluntarism in exceptional circumstances, such as a pandemic or a major transport strike with very short notice.

However, the Olympic Games are not legally considered as exceptional circumstances, and the legislator doesn’t put laws in force on this specific issue for the time being.

(1) Law n°2023-380 du 19 mai 2023.
(2) Decree n° 2023-1078 23 november 2023 on the temporary suspension of weekly rest periods.
(3) Article 25 of the law n°2023-380 19 may 2023 on the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games and various other provisions.
(4) Article 1: Decree n° 2023-1078, 23 november 2023 on the temporary suspension of weekly rest periods
(5) Decree n° 2023-1078 23 november 2023 on the temporary suspension of weekly rest periods.
(6) Article L.3132-27 of the Labor Code.
(7) Article 11 of the law n° 2023-380, 19 may 2023.


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Bénédicte Litzler
Aurélie Davoult
Elora Boscher

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