France reinstates holiday after 'big mess'
French government has decided to reinstate a holiday that had been scrapped in 2004, after the plan to create a new regular workday turned out to be too complicated to implement
PARIS, January 29, 2008 - The French government has decided to reinstate
a holiday that had been scrapped in 2004, a minister said Tuesday, after the
plan to create a new regular workday turned out to be too complicated to
"The prime minister has said he is in favour (...) We will not longer be
working on Pentecost Monday," Labour Minister Xavier Bertrand told RTL radio.
Pentecost Monday, which this year falls on May 12, was replaced by a
working "day of solidarity" with the elderly and the handicapped by a previous
The government hoped the measure would generate two billion euros per year
to help upgrade facilities across France for the elderly, who were among the
hardest hit by a heatwave in 2003 blamed for 15,000 deaths.
Under the measure, employers were to contribute the equivalent of the day's
salaries to a special fund.
But unions opposed the measure while businesses applied it half-heartedly,
with some deciding the day in question -- Pentecost Monday -- should remain
The CFTC union welcomed the move, saying it would end "the big mess"
created by the measure.
The government plans to present a bill in the coming months that instead
would give businesses the opportunity to create a "day of solidarity" when it