A contract may also provide that the person skilled in the art may unilaterally make changes to the contract in connection with technological development if such changes do not lead to an increase in prices or a deterioration in quality and the characteristics to which the consumer has committed remain contained in the contract. This last exception makes it possible to take into account the needs of technological developments. The modification of the contract is authorized as long as it does not modify the legitimate interest of the consumer (see also as an example of transposition of the European directive, French Consumer Code, Article R 212-4). On 22 February 2000, the French Court of Cassation recognised that an employer could change the allocation of working time in the same day. The main difference is that, in the case of a unilateral amendment clause, the worker must prove that the employer wrongly invoked it. A clause authorizing the employer to change the terms and conditions of employment without notice may be deemed unenforceable by the court. A court will consider the nature of the employment relationship, the specific language used in the employment contract and the importance of the unilateral amendment before deciding whether the contractual term should be applied. On 29 November 2019 (ECLI:NL:HR:2019:1869), the Supreme Court answered the question of what procedure should be followed. In the previous case, the parties disagreed as to whether the employer could unilaterally decide that pension premiums were no longer due exclusively on behalf of the employer, but also, to some extent, on behalf of the workers. In practice, it is also possible to unilaterally change the conditions of employment without a unilateral modification clause, but in this case it is much more difficult. And even if you have agreed on a unilateral modification clause, it is not a license to arbitrarily modify the agreements concluded. An important question in this regard is whether the coronavirus crisis can be considered the essential interest of the employer to unilaterally modify an employment contract.
There was a lot of case law on that. And if a works council has been created in your company, it is important to consider whether it should be involved in decision-making. A complaint often made by workers is that the employer made one or other unilateral change to the original working conditions. Employers are reminded that any substantial change in the conditions of employment and employment of a worker may constitute dismissal within the meaning of section 186 of the Employment Relations Act. In other words, the existing employment contract is effectively terminated by the application of unilateral amendments and replaced by a new contract. 1. . .