Shorter working week brings benefits

A shorter working week in France has increased staff productivity, said an
adviser to the French government at the TUC conference last week.

Yves Barou, senior vice-president of HR at IT company Thales, said the
introduction of the 35-hour week in France in 2000 has increased diversity and
employee performance.

Barou, formerly deputy head of cabinet, described the benefits of a shorter
working week as a "work-life triangle".

He said: "The first trend is greater productivity, allowing people to
work less but produce the same – if not more.

"The second, is greater movement towards individual work schedules
which makes it possible to reconcile social- , family- and school-related
demands. The final trend is the larger number of women in the workforce."

The TUC is calling for further legislation from the Government to restrict
the long hours culture in the UK.

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