Macron goes to battle with French unions as he moves to force civil servants to work 35 hours a week
- President Macron plans to stop public sector staff from taking extra paid leave
- Local councils will be given 12 months to see their staff work 1,607 hours a year
- But the decision has been criticised by unions who have organised protests
President Macron plans to force France’s civil servants to work at least 35 hours a week – a decision which could see him battle with the country’s unions.
Mr Macron’s cabinet is set to approve legislation which will stop public sector employees from taking extra paid leave for events such as car boot sales or as compensation for having to work in winter.
The move – which will be put before the cabinet today – gives local councils 12 months to guarantee that their staff work 1,607 hours a year and are not offered more time off than the statutory five weeks.
But the decision has been criticised by unions who have organised protests in provincial towns across France.
President Macron plans to force France’s civil servants to work at least 35 hours a week – a decision which could see him battle with the country’s unions (pictured in March 22, 2019)
Although the country enjoys one of the shortest working weeks in the world at 35 hours – with people paid overtime after that – almost a third of its civil servants failed to even reach that amount, a series of reports discovered.
The economy ministry’s general inspection of finance found that from the 1.1million civil servants surveyed, 310,000 of them worked less than 35 hours, reported The Times.
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If more stuck to the required time, then Mr Macron, 41, would reportedly be able to cut 30,000 jobs – a quarter of his target to help cut €60 billion in public spending by 2022.
Yet critics from the right are said to claim that Mr Macron’s attempt is half-hearted as the yellow-vest movement powers the suggestion that the president’s policies are for the rich.
Yet critics from the right are said to claim that Mr Macron’s attempt is half-hearted as the yellow-vest movement (protests pictured in Paris in March) powers the suggestion that the president’s policies are for the rich
His legislation will focus on those in local councils – who are meant to work just more than 35 hours a week with five weeks of leave – rather than civil servants employed by the government.
On average, local council staff were found to work 40 hours less than their required amount in a year as most enjoy extra time off.
For instance, Brittany staff get six days off a year to ‘attend car boot sales’ or to prepare for a bank holiday.
In the Deux-Sèvres area of western France, council staff receive ten and a half weeks holiday – two of these days are given as compensation for having to work in winter.
Speaking last year, Mr Macron said: ‘We find ourselves in a situation where the 35 hours are not done. It has to stop.’
However, the National Group of Autonomous Unions told the publication that the legislation was an ‘unprecedented offensive’.
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