French government raises layoff payment ceilings

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The number of hours firms can temporarily lay off workers for most industries in France has been increased by 200 hours a year.

PARIS – The French government Saturday raised the number of hours that firms can temporarily lay off workers while continuing to receive state aid.

In most industries the limit rises from 600 to 800 hours a year while in the textile, clothing and leather industries, and the automobile and ancillary industries which do at least 50 percent of their business with the car industry, it rises from 800 to 1,000 hours a year.

Layoffs, known as technical or partial unemployment, let a business in trouble qualify for state aid.

The employer, subject to agreement from the authorities, pays the employee 60 percent of his gross salary and then receives compensation from the state.

The practice gives firms some flexibility in hard times and avoids sackings, though it cuts workers' wages.

[AFP / Expatica]

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