France Enacts Contested Labor Law Reform in Bid to Create Jobs

French President Francois Hollande’s labor law reform was enacted following nearly five months of debate in the National Assembly, violent street protests in Paris and the government resorting to special constitution powers three times to push the bill through legislature.

The law became official with its publication in the government’s official gazette on Tuesday. The new regulations will allow businesses to increase working hours with minimal compensation, cap severance pay and make it simpler for companies to eliminate jobs.

Hollande, who considers the law a cornerstone of his efforts to cut unemployment, had called on the government to enact the law through decrees as quickly as possible. Controversy about the law, which faced sustained opposition from Hollande’s own Socialist labor makers as well as unions, contributed to sending the president’s approval rating to a record low.

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