April 19, 2012
35 hour work week – time for gazing at the Seine – Christophe Hue
Many associate French working life with 35-hour weeks, strikes, long long lunch breaks and even longer holidays. This is certainly the image that I’d carefully conjured in my idealistic head before setting foot in France.
The big question: does reality live up to this delightful worker-friendly dream?
Well, I can confirm that the 35-hour week does exist (at least for a privileged minority), strikes do take place on a not-infrequent basis, lunch breaks remain sacred, and holidays are considered to be an untouchable national right (right up there alongside liberté, egalité, fraternité).
However, beneath the shiny and appealing veneer, day-to-day work has its fair share of up and downs.