Valls Says France Has No Plans to Revoke 35-Hour Working Week

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said he has no plans to revise France’s 35-hour work week, a day after Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said it had been a mistake to believe that cutting work time would lead to prosperity.

“There were will be no reconsideration of the working hours and the 35 hours,” Valls said Friday during a visit to to a work training site in the Champagne region. “A lot has already been done to allow companies to work out arrangements.”

Macron told a meeting of business leaders Thursday that it was a “false idea” to think cutting working hours would increase jobs.

The Socialist government of Prime Minister Lionel Jospin cut the work week to 35 hours 15 years ago. Every government since then has weakened the 35-hour law without actually revoking it. As a result, French full-time employees worked an average of 40.5 hours a week in 2014, just an hour less than the European average, according to the European Union’s statistics office.