French company EDF has announced it will stop offering its 30,000 employees 10 weeks of holiday a year – a working condition that is envied around the world.

Blimey.

And that’s before bank holidays etc…..

15 thoughts on “What?”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    Tim Newman – “Oi! Hands off!”

    But you have to be fair! Remember, the laws of the universe demand balance. So somewhere there must be a petroleum engineer in some oil company who is the opposite of the EdF workers. He works the hours of a law partner but is paid like a teacher.

    Probably in China.

  2. Cue strikes in the French energy sector as all the employees of other companies realise what they could be getting.

  3. However:

    “Currently EDF employees work just 196 days a year, but are expected to put in an average of 39.5 hours a week, instead of the 35 hour legal limit that applies to the rest of the country. “

    39.5-35=4 hours extra per week
    196/5=39.2 weeks worked per year
    39.2*4=156.8 hours extra per year
    156.8/35=4.48 weeks extra per year

    So really, it’s just partial TOIL. I’m surprised EdF wants to change the deal, frankly.

  4. Most employees in French companies put in 40 hours per week, and then to compensate us for the hardship of working more than the mandated 35 hours per week we get 14 days RTT (reduction de temps de travaille: reduction in working time) on top of our paid holiday.

    For me, I work 207 days per year, 8 hours per day. So time off is:

    104 days Saturdays & Sundays
    25 days paid holiday
    3 days “supplementary holidays” (no idea what they are for)
    12 days public holiday
    14 days RTT

  5. Tim N,
    Do those 8 hours per day include a French two-hour lunch? Or is that stereotype out of date now?

  6. Off topic but still on EDF and one of Mr W’s favourites, Government intervention in the market to fix prices.

    The French Government still fixes EDF’s prices to the consumer market and for the year 2012 by law awarded a 2% price increase…. because this is ‘good’ for consumers and of course votes.

    This led to a challenge by smaller energy retailers who say the price increase did not take into account EDF’s actual costs, thus they were able to sell near or below cost which was pricing competitors out of the market….. not good for consumers, but very good for EDF and crony Government.

    EDF is ‘private’ but still owned 85% by the State and so in typical French manner gets all sorts of kick-backs, subsidies and so on.

    An independent review was held which said the price increase should have been 5.7%, then a few months later a review of the review (it’s France) decided it should have been 9.6%.

    The Constitutional Court has struck down the 2012 law giving 2% and the Government has to come up with a new law at a more appropriate price within the next two months, but it is not yet clear whether it will be based on the first review or the second or an average.

    The upshot is, that EDF customers on certain tariffs, about 80% of customers, will have their bills between August 2012 and July 2013 recalculated and will get a surcharge on their future bills sometime over the next twelve months, which on average depending on consumption and which number they go with, will be 20€ or 40€.

    And people wonder why France, albeit a delightful place to live for a number of reasons, is an economic (and political) basket case…. and chief architect and cheer leader of the EU in which their unique style of governance and economic direction is so deeply entrenched and upon which, it is claimed, the UK’s survival depends.

  7. Do those 8 hours per day include a French two-hour lunch? Or is that stereotype out of date now?

    The stereotype is alive and well but – in my company at least – these two hours are excluded from the 8. The engineers I work with are far from lazy, they put in ridiculously long hours some of them. And they’re smart too. The problem is that management – insofar as you or I would understand the concept – is practically non-existent, leading to 12 hours of brow-sweating work producing about half an hour’s worth of actual value. If you could combine French engineering with AngloSaxon management, you could do much.

  8. EDF is ‘private’ but still owned 85% by the State and so in typical French manner gets all sorts of kick-backs, subsidies and so on.

    Via some social contacts I have in Paris, I have had several occasions to meet a portly French chap who likes to drink and tell stories who happened to have been *the* head of EDF’s overseas development during the 80s and 90s.

    He told me had visited nuclear power stations and bomb-making facilities across the whole of the USSR and even North Korea. He told me that EDF was an openly communist company stuffed full of people who supported the USSR. And he told me that when he visited the secret bomb-making sites in the USSR he was amused to see, amongst the portraits of Lenin and the Soviet scientists, portraits of the Rosenburgs and other traitors who were busy denying any involvement.

  9. Tim, the extra 3 days might be to compensate you for taking a minimum number of weeks (three?) off during the summer season (May-August). Yeah, you read that correctly – you get compensated for taking time off.

    At least, that’s how it works in my company…

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