Well it seems to becoming to an end. No doudt Germanys working hours will change as well.
Seems a shame really. There won't be as much work for the greedy UK contractors any more.
Those were the days getting a locals working week done by Wed lunchtime, sometimes tue evening. And the buggers will be hanging around causing grief and stopping you getting the important stuff done on time in the evening.
Will be interesting to see the fall out though. Just in time for a heap of strikes over the summer which will no doudt hit airports and piss joe public off no end.
Having worked with the Japanese, 12 hour days spent doing absolutely bugg@r all, and multinational software companies, with...12 hours days spent doing bugg@r all, maybe the Frogs have it right. I refer of course to office workers, the hands on guys have been effective most places I've been. It has been established from studying airline pilots that 800 hours a year is as much time as you can spend focusing on a high pressure job. That implies to me that most of what we do at our "important jobs" for long hours is jerking off. The most effective manager I ever met was an engineer (a Brit actually). He had a massive six year contract to finish and he did it in five years, working nine to five with long lunches. Vive la France. At least they are bloody honest. And unlike the Japanese and other so-called workaholics, they have a life as well as a job.
The problem with France and Germany, employmentwise, is to some extent that it's so difficult to get rid of staff when times are bad, that businesses are often reluctant to take people on and expand aggressively when times are good.
I work for a German company and am frequently in our head-office, in Germany. I can say that my German colleagues work no fewer hours that we do - starting at 08:00 - 08:30, 45 minutes for lunch, and finishing at 16:30. At closing time there isn't a mass exodus, and many ordinary staff are to be found at their desks (working!) after 17:00. Of course, they get better leave entitlement, and better employee benefits, many of which are enshrined in law. They of course do add costs to business.
Working on both sides of the Channel, it there is definately a different ethos "over there". The British and Irish seem to have a "live to work" culture, whereas and French and German friends are more likely to "work to live".
The divvy up work idea is dreadful crap. I can't remember the economics behind it, but the planet does not have x tons of work to be done. The low unemployment we Micks have is prolly due to a few factors.
(No, not EU handouts, they go straight to the farmers and agribusiness) Low corporate taxes mean lots of furrin investment. Low payroll taxes mean that hiring people is not prohibitive compared to France and Germany. If you hire someone here, you can fire them without paying them a million or getting permission from some bureaucrat, unlike France or Germany. That's about it really. It was easier to make the changes we needed in a 4 million person economy than a 60 million person economy, of course.
The way I understand it, they are not actually ending the 35hr week, just allowing employees to work longer if they want to....by which what they really mean is they are allowing employers to state that for all new employees that the contracted working hours are longer than 35hrs if an employee agrees to it.....if you understand what I mean!!!
Wasn't the logic behind the 35 hour week primarily to divvy up the work to be done so everyone could have a job?
Yes.... But did anyone really think it was going to achieve its goal?
One reason why there is less employment in France is due to the expense to a company (taxes & social security payments) in employing someone, as well as the almost impossibility of laying said person off in time of business downturn, as already mentioned.
Most of my colleagues in France work the same sort of hours as us in the UK, i.e. a lot more than 35 hours per week. However, since their hours are averaged over 17 weeks ( I think), every so often they are obliged to take two or three weeks holiday to bring the average down otherwise the company gets fined.
Which is great until you need to contact someone only to be told they won't be in the office for 4 or five weeks because they've taken their normal holiday concurrently.
I'm told that the French govt. subsidises companies for the loss of man-hours and borrows the money to pay for it. Doesn't seem like a sustainable policy to me.
Another good one is trying to get something done in either July or August.....
ALL of france is on holiday for either July or August, so some companies effectively shut up shop for one month or the other......Great when you work somewhere else in the world where its business as usual....
TIP: Therefore, NEVER, EVER plan to travel at all in France, by any method, on the W/E straddling July/August. Similar rule applies to 1st W/E in July and last W/E of August......