Temporary inter-company mobility: a new approach optimized through the use of digital technology

Voluntary inter-company mobility – first introduced by the Cherpion law 2011-893 dated July 28, 2011 – allows an employee to temporarily work for another company.

Companies are now beginning to search for greater flexibility (also see our article on the ‘extended company’) by using a wide variety of resources such as freelance workers, temps, etc. The Cherpion law provides even greater flexibility because it allows companies to loan out or borrow resources for a time period based on their needs and their employees’ wishes. It also allows employees interested in mobility to work a few days or a few months part time or full time in another company and develop their skills or acquire new ones, increase their professional experience and discover new work methods.

Maybe in a few years companies will be offering their employees up in marketplaces, but we aren’t quite there yet.

The arrival of dedicated digital platforms

To make deployment of inter-company mobility easier, a number of startups specializing in loaning out workers, such as Apitalent, Masolutionemploi.com, Mobiliwork and OSCARh, have appeared on the market and are today trying to encourage widespread use of the concept. It is important that smaller companies also be able to use the concept to help them adapt to an ever-changing and unstable economic environment.

These digital platforms were designed to make things easier between companies and employees. They can be used to manage all the inter-company mobility processes by connecting companies and employees via job boards and a CV database. Standard contracts can be offered.

According to startups dedicated to inter-company mobility, all business segments are now represented and both small companies and major corporations are involved. OscarRH faciliates temporary mobility between large businesses and startups by enabling their employees to incorporate the innovation of these startups and increase their soft skills.

Mobiliwork has been trying to create communities of companies to increase trust and thus increase the mobility of employees.

A type of mobility not yet used very often, but covered by legislation

Inter-company mobility may be permanent as part of the French job security act of June 14, 2013 (the employee leaves the company) or temporary as part of the “Cherpion” act of July 28, 2011 (the employee returns to the company). The three parties – the initial company, the ‘second’ company and the employee – will sign an agreement, with the second company paying cost price.

The employee, who sees the opportunity to try out a new job or improve their employability, must provide express consent. He cannot be penalized, terminated or discriminated against upon his return. Amendments to the contract will specify the tasks to be performed and the work schedule, the workplace and job description. The employee will continue to belong to the company loaning them out and will be subject to the same labor agreement provisions.

Companies loaning out employees shall do so at cost and not for profit. They will only bill the wages actually paid the employee, the employer contributions and the expenses that the employee will be reimbursed. Profit shall be made only when loaning out staff for temp work, the use of umbrella companies or modeling agencies. Changes still need to be made to this model, since the costs taken up by the second company must be dealt with. There may be no cost at all (in the same way as skill-based sponsorships for associations) or they may be in part handled by a company’s training budget. The OPCAs (organizations in charge of collecting funds for professional training) should look into the issue.

Increasing the competitiveness of companies and employees

Inter-company mobility may be used for training purposes. It is an opportunity for employees to acquire new skills and increase their employability in the job market. In an ever-changing world, employees should be undergoing training on an almost continual basis. There are many tools available for remote-training, but it is is clear that on-hands experience is a particularly efficient kind of training.

Inter-company mobility is an interesting way for companies to strengthen their employer brand. It is a way to increase the loyalty of personnel looking to gain experience. Companies that dont have enough work for their employees and that are looking for greater flexibility may find inter-company mobility a good opportunity. It is also a good way for companies to find the resources they need.

Our world is changing and these new inter-company mobility methods can help boost the labor market, promote ecosystems of partners and develop employee employability and engagement.