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Duration and organisation of working time

France

Growing customer demands for businesses to be open longer and services to be more accessible, companies becoming increasingly international and trade becoming increasingly global, imposing unprecedented pressure on working hours, the digital revolution introducing new ways of working (remotely, part-time, etc). Under these dual financial and technological pressures, the pace of work is increasing, whilst our working arrangements are being fundamentally transformed. Both a demand of employees eager to find a better work-life balance and an essential step for businesses, flexible working is in the increase, boosted by recent changes in the law (with the French employment market modernisation act of 2008 making working time arrangements more flexible, the French job security act promoting part-time working in 2013, the “Macron” act in 2015 increasing the options for Sunday and evening working and the “El Khomri” act in 2016 aiming to secure a fixed number of working days). At the same time, however, new concerns are emerging (such as the prevention of psychosocial disorders, stress and hardship, longer working lives and the position of older workers in the workplace and the quest for gender equality), broadening the scope of social responsibility and outlining new challenges in terms of duration and organisation of working time. In this unprecedented and changing environment governed by extensive, often complex regulations, the issue of working time is more crucially important than ever.

It is therefore essential, in order to avoid significant penalties, that you ensure that your company complies with the legal requirements in force. The systems many companies have in place for managing working time are now obsolete, or even illegal. On the other hand, it is vital that you guard against the risks associated with new working practices: the employer may be committing an offence, for instance, if employees use their smartphone for professional purposes outside their working hours. In this new climate, it is therefore crucial to design the most appropriate systems for organising working time, bearing in mind the specific nature of your business activity, your constraints and your ambitions, and to implement them so as to achieve the dual goals of economic performance and employee satisfaction.
With their expert knowledge of the core regulations on the duration and management of working time, our specialist employment and social welfare lawyers are able to assist you with all these issues that call for both experience and responsiveness. Regardless of the sector in which you operate or the size of your organisation, they will advise and help you, both in France and internationally, with managing working time within your company (including assessing your needs, implementing procedures and conducting negotiations), as well as that of your executives and with any issues associated with part-time working, working-time accounts, set working hours agreements, on-call and equivalent systems and exceptions to the Sunday rest-day rule. Their expertise and insight into the pitfalls and possibilities involved in this area combine to produce a pragmatic, overarching, collaborative and long-term approach, which will enhance your competitiveness.

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