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Is the annual salary increase mandatory or optional?

Is it legal to work for my entire career with one employer without ever receiving an individual raise?

Kevin Birch

“Labour law does not provide for an automatic salary increase, warns Kevin Bouleau, associate lawyer at Ekipe Avocats. The individual increase is therefore optional except if the remuneration is below the thresholds linked to the revaluation of the Smic and the conventional minima. Such an absence of an individual increase could nevertheless contravene the principle of “equal pay for equal work” vis-à-vis other employees”.

In summary: yes, potentially, you can work 20 years in the same company without ever getting a raise. If this is your case, here are some tips for reviewing your trading techniques and trading at the right time.

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Are general collective increases compulsory for everyone?

“At least once every 4 years, companies with a union representative in their ranks must conduct mandatory annual negotiations on remuneration. This may result in a collective general increase envelope to be redistributed, either to all employees, or by professional category (executives, non-executives)”, illustrates our lawyer.

In summary: here again, you are not automatically affected by the general collective increases.

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In the event of a promotion, am I automatically increased?

The answer is no: promotion does not necessarily rhyme with increase. It is not uncommon for an employee to be promoted, to be asked to prove themselves for a few months (or more) before boosting their salary. “In a promotion, it is the passage to a higher classification of the collective agreement to which the company belongs which may lead to an increase in salary. But if the employee’s remuneration is already higher than the conventional minimum of the higher classification level, the increase is not compulsory, ”insists Kevin Bouleau.

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My colleagues showing the same results and the same responsibilities as me, are increased and not me. Can I get compensation?

The labor code imposes the principle of “equal work, equal pay”. ” From a legal point of view, an employee may request a catch-up salary on the basis of this principle. However, this principle is only intended to apply if the employees concerned have a diploma, experience, seniority and similar missions and responsibilities. In practice, this principle is difficult to implement with regard to all these criteria, the employer being able to demonstrate that the employees are not placed in an identical situation”, observes Kevin Bouleau. If, however, you succeed in proving this unequal treatment, you will be able to claim a salary catch-up over the previous three years.

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