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February 8, 2023

New job classification: the UIMM redefines employee management

Job classification, what are we talking about?

What is job classification?

Job classification

Job classification is a key tool for human resources management in companies. It allows the description and categorization of the different types of jobs existing in a company, according to their level of responsibility, their level of expertise and their level of qualification.

The UIMM (Union des Industries et des Métiers de la Métallurgie) is proposing a new job classification that will radically change the approach to employee management by enabling companies to better target their needs in terms of skills and qualifications.

Why change the system?

"Itused to be: there were about 60 conventions and when the 60 changed one line, it changed the whole convention outright."

Fabrice BraultIndustrial Development Director / Industry of the Future Coordinator at UIMM

The new job classification proposed by UIMM aims to replace a system that has become obsolete, lost its meaning, and has become difficult to understand for both companies and employees..

The current system is based on old and interpretative texts, as well as on streams and definitions whose content no longer reflects the current modes of work organization. It has become an instrument for measuring job content that generally no longer fulfils its primary function, that of objectively ranking jobs in relation to each other.

In addition, the current system has become difficult to understand due to the complexity of the 4 current classification systems, the elimination of cut-off points and automatic progressions, and the desire to build a classification on a single scale based on actual work content.

Also, the current system is sometimes misused, particularly to counteract the sometimes erroneous use of classification for individual recognition of employees not always based on objective criteria. It is therefore necessary to clarify what is job-related and what is individual-related. The classification of jobs must therefore clearly relate to the job and its content.

The new job classification proposed by the UIMM will make it possible to correct these situations by restoring more equity and legal certainty, and by allowing companies to better target their needs in terms of skills and qualifications, as well as a fair reference base for conventional minimum wages.

The advantages of this new system

The recently introduced job classification system has a number of advantages for both companies and employees. Firstly, it offers greater visibility of professional development opportunities for employees, making the company more attractive to talent. In addition, the simplified methodology, which includes clear tools and steps, greatly facilitates the overall classification process.

What's more, this system is fair because it ranks jobs, not individuals, ensuring that all employees in the same position are evaluated equally. Transparency is also at the heart of this system, thanks to clear rules known to all, compulsory consultation of employees on their job description, and a simple tool accessible to all. Last but not least, the system is robust, as job descriptions are reviewed at regular performance reviews.

The methods and tools associated with this new job classification

The method used for the new job classification is based on 4 associated tools:

  • Joint Job Analysis Reference System : This is a tool that allows for the description and analysis of different job types within a company using standardized criteria that apply to all jobs. It is based on six classification criteria, which include considering the complexity of the tasks, required knowledge, level of autonomy, contribution, supervision/cooperation, and communication. Each criterion consists of ten levels of requirements that reflect the progressive level of job demands for each criterion. It is developed collaboratively between employers and employees to ensure an objective and unbiased analysis of the jobs. This helps to enhance the understanding of different job roles and facilitates an objective ranking, which is crucial for effective employee management and establishing fair minimum wages based on industry standards.
  • The ranking grid of the agreement is a tool that allows jobs to be classified based on the points obtained through job analysis. This is done by consulting a table that assigns a certain number of points to each job. These points are obtained based on the ranking criteria defined in the Paritarian Job Analysis Framework (RPAE). The number of points obtained for a job corresponds to a job class and job group. The job classification is then indicated by the letter representing the job group and the number representing the class it belongs to. This ranking grid enables an objective and standardized classification of jobs based on the criteria defined in the RPAE.
  • Joint educational guide: This is a tool designed to help companies and employees understand and use the new job classification. It explains how the job classification system works and its objectives, describes the method used to rate and classify jobs, and provides information on how to make it as widely available as possible. It has been developed in a joint employer/employee process to ensure maximum transparency and clarity. It is accessible to all stakeholders in the company to help them better understand and use the job classification system.
  • Joint Glossary : It brings together clear and precise definitions of terms and concepts related to job classification. It aims to build a common language between employers and employees to facilitate the understanding and use of the new classification. It clarifies technical terms and defines key concepts related to job classification to ensure consistent and accurate use of these terms.

Other important job classification information

Help from the UIMM in the field

The Union of Industries and Metallurgy (UIMM) is the organization that represents employers in the metallurgy sector in France. As part of the new job classification, the UIMM provides assistance to companies to help them understand and implement the new classification systems. This assistance includes detailed information on the new classification criteria and training for human resources managers so they can explain the new systems to their employees and help implement them.


The new job classification has been scheduled to come into effect on January 1, 2023 for the rules relating to social protection and January 1, 2024 for the conventional provisions of the branch, such as the new job classification, working hours and individual relations. This gives companies sufficient time to adapt to the new systems and ensure that everything is in place before they come into force.

Reality for some companies

As far as job classification is concerned, it is important to note that this can vary from company to company. For example, a company that has historically produced metal products, but now produces 90% of them in plastic, may still remain in the same collective agreement. Similarly, a large company that already pays well above the minimum wage will not see a change in its wages.

However, for the classification, companies will have to redo their job descriptions, which represents a significant amount of work. There is also a complexity for jobs that depend on several positions or jobs, as it is difficult to define which one takes precedence over the compensation. Each company will then have to adopt its own approach, for example by choosing the best paid job on the classification.

In conclusion

Job classification is a crucial tool for efficient human resources management in companies. The UIMM is proposing a revolution by introducing a new classification that is better adapted to current needs, more understandable and fairer for companies and employees. This new classification will allow companies to effectively target the necessary skills and qualifications and to set fair minimum wages.