France's Macron signs labour reforms in law, defying protests | daily-sun.com

France's Macron signs labour reforms in law, defying protests

Sun Online Desk     23rd September, 2017 10:41:34 printer

France's Macron signs labour reforms in law, defying protests

 

Emmanuel Macron has formally signed an overhaul of France's labour laws, a key platform of his presidency.

 

Thousands of protesters have condemned the reforms, which make it easier for companies to hire and cheaper to fire staff.

 

Mr Macron's government has promised to cut unemployment from its current 9.5% to 7% in five years.

 

There were protests across France on Thursday, but only 132,000 people took part, a big drop on the previous week.

 

More than 220,000 turned out for demonstrations on 12 September.

 

What are the changes?

 

France's labour code - with some chapters dating back more than a century - is over 3,000 pages long and is seen by many as a straitjacket for business.

 

The new laws hand companies more flexibility in negotiating wages and conditions directly with employees, rather than being bound by industry-wide collective deals negotiated by trade unions.

 

They also cap damages paid to workers for unfair dismissal. Employers have argued that costly and lengthy court cases often discourage them from hiring staff in the first place.

Until now, the minimum pay-out for two years' employment was six months' salary.

That will now be limited to three months' pay for two years of work, and 20 months' pay for 30 years.

 

The president has signed five executive decrees, describing the reforms as an "unprecedented transformation of our social and economic model".

The move comes after Mr Macron won parliamentary support to push the changes through.


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