France’s new economy minister, former investment banker Emmanuel Macron, has taken a shot at the country’s short working week, suggesting regulation should be eased and firms given the freedom to up staff hours.
In an interview with French magazine Le Point, Macron suggested companies should have more autonomy and the 35-hour working week could be replaced if unions and employees were in favor.
Such measures would help France “find a way out of the trap that sees the accumulation of workers’ rights become an obstacle for those who are jobless,” he told Le Point.
The country’s 35-hour working week was introduced by the socialist government in 2000 and has been a source of criticism from both the international community and corporate world.
In response to Macron’s comments, Laurent Berger, the head of France’s CFDT trade union, said the former Rothschild banker had “made a mistake”.
“It’s out of the question. The subject is closed,” he told French digital channel i>Tele.
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