French Language Blog

Reform to French Labor Laws? Posted by on Feb 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

This week, Myriam El Khomri, France’s labor ministry, has been the focus of many headlines in France. This week, she presented a bill that would reform current French labor laws, which is seen by many as the final push for large-scale reforms during President François Hollande’s five-year term. The law would allow employees to work more than the current 35-hour work week without facing penalties. It would also take away some of the power held by employees when they are dismissed improperly from their positions. While the 35-hour work week would still remain law, this would make it much easier for employees to work more. El Khomri has said that the bill is to “adapt to the needs of business,” and is, presumably, being pushed forward to fight against France’s high unemployment rate.

However, many politicians have spoke out vociferously against this bill, criticizing François Hollande for giving more power to businesses instead of to French workers. Although Hollande is a figure of the Socialist Party, this bill has appealed to many right-wing parties and alienated Hollande’s Socialist base. Many others spoke out against these proposed laws when El Khomri:

“avait affirmé que le gouvernement assumerait « ses responsabilités » au cas où il n’arriverait pas à mobiliser sa majorité à l’Assemblée nationale sur le texte, un avertissement interprété comme une menace de recourir à la procédure du 49.3 – qui permet au gouvernement de faire adopter un texte sans vote.”

(“affirmed that the government would take up its responsibilities in the case that they weren’t able to mobilize their party’s majority in the National Assembly in regard to the bill, a warning interpreted by some as a threat to apply “procedure 49.3,” which permits the government to adopt a bill without voting on it.”)

The bill will be formally introduced to cabinet members on March 9, before heading into the National Assembly for voting.

What do you think?: Could such a pro-business reform help France’s economy? And, if so, should it be made into law without being voted on by the National Assembly?

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About the Author: Elizabeth Schmermund

Bonjour tout le monde! I'm a freelance writer, doctoral student, mom, and Francophile. I'm excited to share some of my experiences living in France, as well as the cultural nuances that I've learned being married to a Frenchman, with all of you. To find out more about me, feel free to check out my website at A la prochaine!