The Working hours in France is subject to the myth of 35 hour week. If one takes a closer look at the average weekly working hours, shows that the differences between France and Germany are only slight. A study by the European Union finds that permanent employees in Germany work around 40 hours per week and French employees with 39.1 hours just behind. For this reason, we have cleared up the half-truth of the 35 hour work week and additionally provided important information regarding vacation days and overtime summarized for you.
The statutory French working hours 35 hours per week and is not to be equated with the maximum working hours, but merely serves as a Reference to the calculation of overtime, which usually have to be compensated separately or compensated by free time. For this reason, many companies have different working time models, While others, in turn, are more oriented toward collective bargaining agreements.
Some companies have abolished the 35-hour week as part of the labor reform. These companies include the car manufacturer and the parent company of Peugeot and Opel PSA. Accordingly, the approximately 3.000 employees at the Vesoul plant (Bourgogne-Franche-Comte region) work exactly 37 hours and 45 minutes per week.
The division of the working week depends, among other things, on the company, the industry, the size of the company and the region. In French labor contracts, a distinction is made between days actually worked: Working days (jours ouvrables) and working days (jours ouvres).
working days (jours ouvrables)
In the case of working days, the so-called 6-day week which means that, theoretically from Monday to Saturday could be worked. These days are those that are neither Sundays nor holidays, the jours ouvrables.
working days (Jours ouvres)
While in the case of a working week with jours ouvres from Monday to Friday, therefore Saturday is a working day, the jours ouvres, Working days from Tuesday to Saturday with Monday being the jour ouvrable applies.
In France, per month worked days of vacation accumulated and credited. The number of days of vacation depends on whether the company or the organization has adopted jours ouvres or the jours ouvrables refers to.
Nevertheless, a basic vacation entitlement of 30 working days per year worked applies. In addition collective agreement checked for additional days off The company has also introduced a number of measures that can take effect when unforeseeable events occur, such as family celebrations or the death of a relative.
Anyone who works in a company where Saturday is a jour ouvrable and would like to take Friday and Monday off, not two, but including Saturday three paid vacation days will be deducted. In total, however, the employer cannot apply this to more than five Saturdays per year, because: 2.5 vacation days x 12 months = 30 vacation days = 5 weeks = 5 Saturdays.
Provided no separate agreements in collective agreements or company regulations Are present, apply for Remuneration for overtime in France as a rule the following provisions:
For the first 8 additional hours, d.h. from the 36. up to the 43. hour, an hourly wage is paid with 25% surcharge paid.
From the 44. hour, the Supplement to 50.
The surcharge may not less than 10% of the standard hourly wage are.
Annually may no more than 220 hours of overtime be worked.
There is also the possibility of overtime in whole or in part through a so-called Time off (repos compensateur de remplacement) to be replaced, provided this is included in the collective agreement (convention collective / accord collectif) after approval by the works council (comite d’entreprise / delegues du personnel) has been set.
What happens if the overtime quota is exceeded??
If the overtime quota is exceeded, then the employer must give the employee, on the one hand, the increased hourly rate of 25% or. 50 % pay and on the other hand Granting additional time off. So if there is an overrun of one time hour of the legal quota, in addition to the additional wage, a unit of 30 minutes additional time off are guaranteed.
Of course, there are professions that involve more work per week than others. These include among others Executives as well as field staff. Here the employer contractually concludes a individual lump sum weekly or monthly number of hours from.
The contract then includes the legal 35 working hours as well as the additional remuneration of 4 or. 5 regularly worked overtime hours. At 39 resp. 40 hours of work, the employer does not have to pay a bonus in addition to the one specified in the employment contract. Only the hours worked in excess of this are additionally remunerated.
In principle, arrival and departure days on business trips are considered working days and thus the Travel time as effective working time. This then belongs either to the contractually agreed working hours or must be compensated according to the overtime regulation or. are remunerated. In the event of a payout, the increased rate applicable in principle for bspw. Sundays and holidays taken into account.
In addition, there is the legal regulation that not worked more than 6 days in a row is allowed. The distribution of working hours can then be arranged in such a way that before and / or after a business trip e.g. the two-day weekend is divided into two one-day rest days.
Beyond the French 35-hour week, the contractually agreed working time in advance, if, amounts to usually set at 39 hours per week. It depends on the company and its convention collective decision as to whether the 4 additional hours per week paid out as overtime or by RTT (reduction du temps de travail) and thus Free time be balanced.
The additional days off (jours de RTT), the French employment contract either fixed at a flat rate or real calculated on the basis of the accumulated hours. A combination of partial payment and days off is also possible.
Here are the video tips from our experts on the subject of employment contracts in France
To Protection of employees there is a regulation that determines the maximum number of working hours per day and week.
In France, an employee may not working more than 10 hours per day and must before the next work assignment a break of at least 11 consecutive hours receive.
Latest after 6 hours of work there is a right to break of at least 20 minutes. In total, the weekly working time does not exceed 48 hours, a break of at least 35 consecutive hours must be guaranteed.
Over a period of 12 weeks, the average working time must not exceed 44 hours per week.
In exceptional cases, the weekly working time may be increased up to 60 hours. Then, however, only with consent of the labor inspectorate. This also applies to the performance of several activities.