The Independent

France’s furlough system ‘causing laziness epidemic’

- MARYAM ZAKIR-HUSSAIN

A French study has blamed Emmanuel Macron’s furlough system for causing a “laziness epidemic”.

The French Institute of Public Opinion claimed that 37 per cent are less motivated to work than before the pandemic. A survey taken in 1990 showed that 60 per cent said work was important

to them, but some 32 years later the number has dropped to only 21 per cent.

The French furlough scheme may be partly responsibl­e for the new figures, being one of the most generous programmes in Europe. The study claimed that furlough policies have caused an “exhaustion and laziness epidemic”, as reported by the Daily Telegraph.

In May 2022, France had an estimated 250,000 vacancies in restaurant­s and cafes, with businesses blaming the furlough scheme for allowing people to stay at home while working. France paid between 70-100 per cent of furloughed workers’ wages during the pandemic. The UK, in comparison, paid 80 per cent.

The country’s employment minister, Muriel Penicaud, said at the time that this scheme would be replaced by a “long-term partial-activity scheme” that is “likely to last a year or two”. France also introduced a temporary jobs support scheme during the crisis, which saw the state fund salaries of those prevented from working.

Back in 2000, France introduced the 35-hour work week, making any additional hours strictly overtime. The country also spends 59 per cent of its budget on the benefits system, making it one of the most generous in the welfare sector.

Despite the latest findings, studies have also shown that French workers are more productive than UK ones. An internatio­nal comparison from the Office for National Statistics published earlier this year found that France was between 9 and 28 per cent more productive than the UK.

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 ?? (Reuters) ?? A passenger waits for the metro operated by the Paris transport network
(Reuters) A passenger waits for the metro operated by the Paris transport network
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