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Em­manuel Macron’s gov­ern­ment has un­veiled labour law re­forms in a bid to tackle France’s mass un­em­ploy­ment and boost the coun­try’s job mar­ket. The re­forms will make it eas­ier for com­pa­nies to hire and fire em­ploy­ees and put an end to France’s ‘job for life’ cul­ture. The new mea­sures will par­tic­u­larly ben­e­fit small- and medium-sized com­pa­nies, which em­ploy more than half of France’s work­force. The re­forms in­clude lim­its on com­pen­sa­tion pay­ments for wrong­ful dis­missal, and work­ers mak­ing a claim will now have a max­i­mum of one year in which to pro­ceed. France’s un­em­ploy­ment rate cur­rently stands at 9.5%, al­most dou­ble that of the UK, and it is hoped the re­forms will help re­duce these fig­ures. Macron com­mented that they were “turn­ing the page on three decades of in­ef­fi­ciency”, how­ever protest marches against the re­forms have al­ready be­gun in cities across France.

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