How have French labour relations changed in recent decades? How have they adapted to the new economic and social landscape? How have
small businesses and their employees coped with changes in terms of their inclusion in collective bargaining? In the following pages, we will try to present and explain the multitude of facts that mark these
developments. The hypothesis of this article is that despite the multiplication of institutions, labour relations in France have lost impact in the lives of businesses and employees. Companies demonstrate their autonomy towards the collective bargaining system while formally respecting the dense network of regulatory constraints the State
has created. Smaller companies and precarious workers are not included in these dense networks. The existence of a relatively high minimum wage by international comparison is the last barrier to a labour market disruption.