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The French on Strike.


I am pretty sure that most people are aware of the constant strikes that have ground France to a halt.

So I did a little digging to see what reasons the fine people of France had to take up the fight against government, fighting even on the streets of the City of Love, Paris.

The long story being cut short is that the French Government went ahead with implementing labour laws that were not put through the ordinary Democratic process, I assume because the people would have voted against them.

Those laws have caused grave concern for the people of France, yet the Government stands by its decision, claiming that without the new Law changes, the country would remain grossly noncompetitive with the rest of the globe, as the labour contingent of doing business is not flexible enough and to expensive.

Easily enough, I write ‘Labour contingent’, like a Human Resource manager reporting to the GM, I should use the term, ‘Human Beings’, that have structured their lives and social perimeters around the Labour Laws that they grew accustomed to.

Perhaps that is what the French Government got wrong.

None the less, the French Government went ahead with the laws and have now had to pay Millions of Euros for extra security and damages to the Cities in France.

A clear indication that Government is hearing and heeding the cries of Business, which is not a bad thing. Since Bernie Madoff and the big bank bail out in the USA, which is explained very well in The Big Short, the general population has become heavily critical of Big Business and the palming that occurs with Government.

Case in point Hillary Clinton's reputation as opposed to Bernie Sanders.

It was with the interest in the actual Labour Laws that I read several articles (which I might add were not easily found as the top news covers only the Strikes and not the details of the Laws that have provoked them), referenced at the bottom of this article, that highlight the changes in the French Labour Law.

One piece of the new French law is in favour of the Employee and reads that a Company with more than 50 Employees should have a policy restricting the Company from expecting Employees to work after the work day, this Law is intended at Emails being sent and received on Employees Smart Phones after hours.

I went one step further and took a look how these laws compare to our own South African Labour Laws, which are scattered through the Basic Conditions of Employment and our own newly update Labour Relations Act.

I took the basic comparable Clauses and matched them, importantly to note is that Labour Law are highly versatile in most countries, where minimums such as Wage or Hours of Work change between sectors, this in mind I used our Basic Conditions of Employment and the Labour Relations Act as the benchmark.

One really interesting point of the French Labour Law prior to the changes was the Retrenchments were only permissible if a company was closing its doors!

To make life super easy, I made charts.

Effectively these charts show that South Africans receive similar Leave but have to work many more hours.

In which direction the Government will go remains to be seen. Without a doubt the people of France are working hard at crippling the economy so as to get their laws back, however whether or not they will succeed or not is the ultimate question.

I leave you with one last meme:

Amor Legere

Konrad Bryczkowski


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