35-hour week had no negative impacts: INSEE

24th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 24 (AFP) - A reduction in the French working week to 35 hours created 350,000 jobs between 1998 and 2002 and had no negative impact on businesses, which increased productivity, the national statistics institute INSEE reported on Friday.

PARIS, June 24 (AFP) - A reduction in the French working week to 35 hours created 350,000 jobs between 1998 and 2002 and had no negative impact on businesses, which increased productivity, the national statistics institute INSEE reported on Friday.

The agency in the latest edition of its publication Economy and Statistics said that the 35-hour week, a hotly contested initiative undertaken by a previous Socialist government, had not led to chaos for businesses, as had been predicted by employers.

It said the plan sought a balance between shorter working hours, salary moderation, productivity gains and state aid, and had caused no "apparent financial imbalances for businesses".

The 35-hour week, according to INSEE, "had appeared to have had no negative effects on business" and made possible productivity gains of 4.0-5.0 percent in the period under study.

It noted that 59 percent of the workers surveyed found that the shorter work week constituted "an improvement in daily life", an opinion more apparent among manager-level employees than among workers. Most appreciative of the 35-hour week were mothers with children aged under 12.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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