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Coronavirus: 60 hours of work per week in essential sectors, the right decision


THE MACRONOMETER - One of the orders published on March 25 is decisive, judges the iFRAP, which gives it a score of 9/10. Each week, the liberal think-tank evaluates a government measure in Le Figaro.

The watchword is now that of flexibility. It is in times of crisis that we realize the need to have the most flexible rules possible to allow our productive apparatus to adapt. Let us also hope that this awareness will go beyond the crisis. This primarily concerns our Labor Code.

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Among the orders published on March 25, 2020, one of them is particularly important.

This emergency measures order concerning paid holidays, hours of work and days of rest allows employers in essential sectors to put their employees to work an average of 48 hours per week over 12 weeks, whereas the rule is usually 44 hours per week maximum (Article 6). The hours of night work are also changed, as is Sunday work (Article 7).

During the same week, it will also be possible, under this ordinance, to have an employee work up to a maximum of 60 hours. This is already possible today with local derogation, for example in the shipyard sector or for exceptional cases.

As for the minimum rest between two working days, it may be reduced to 9 hours instead of 11 hours (article 7). In addition, the employer may impose or modify, with one clear day's notice, the days of rest acquired (article 2 and 3) within the limit of ten days (article 4).

Finally, in order to be able to run businesses seven days a week, companies in transport, logistics, agrifood, agriculture, energy and telecommunications will also be able to more easily mobilize their teams on Sundays.

According to the Prime Minister, labor law is here "temporarily adjusted to allow the organization of a real war economy in vital sectors".

No prior collective agreement

These changes to labor law will be applied under the supervision of the Regional Directorates for Business, Competition, Consumption, Labor and Employment (Direccte).

The big advantage is that companies in essential sectors and their leaders will be able to apply these new rules without prior collective agreement and therefore unilaterally is immediate, which is very good news.

Obviously, the reaction of the employees' unions is rather fresh in the face of this ordinance, FO even going so far as to describe it as "heresy" , whereas this is common sense from the moment when all the precautions are observed to protect the employee health.

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The government allows France, with this ordinance, to preserve to the maximum its companies which, even in the essential sectors, do not have all their employees present on site at the moment, and far from it. Some are on sick leave, others for childcare… This will allow us to continue producing as much as possible in the food industry, water, health, energy or chemicals, sectors including companies are and will for the most part be under stress during this crisis. In these sectors - it should be emphasized - aware of the challenges for their fellow citizens and their country, many employees already voluntarily accept to work overtime to allow their company to continue their work in the service of French. Hence our score of 9/10.


The Macronometer, observatory of government reforms, is a site of the iFRAP Foundation in partnership with Le Figaro . It is a tool dedicated to the evaluation of Emmanuel Macron's five-year term: econometric evaluation in relation to his electoral program and to the announcements of his government. With Le Macronomètre, government action is scored out of 10 every Wednesday before the Council of Ministers and becomes readable at a glance. The Macronometer allows everyone to make an opinion on the keeping or not of the promises of the President of the Republic and on the effectiveness of government reforms.

Source: lefigaro

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