French connections

35-hour week: Do the French really work less?

FRENCH CONNECTIONS – Thurs. 25.02.16: France is famous (or infamous) for its short working week. But in reality, the stereotype of lazy French workers attached to their 35-hour week is an exaggeration.

Introduced in 2000 to boost job creation, the 35-hour working week remains a deeply divisive issue here in France. The right wing and business representatives say it’s the root cause of France’s economic woes. Defenders say it’s improved the well-being of workers and productivity. Over time, the law has been watered down, meaning that on average, French employees work a lot more than 35 hours a week.

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