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法国真的一周只工作35个小时么?

2014-08-15    来源:chinadaily    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Busting the myth of France’s 35-hour workweek

In the collective imagination, there are two Europes: the industrious north, with relatively low unemployment and dynamic economies, and the sluggish south, where people would just as soon kick back, sip an espresso and watch the world go by.

Many people would lump France, the land of the 35-hour workweek, long lunches and even longer vacations, with the south. But anyone who has worked as a professional in the country knows otherwise.

Olivier, a senior counsel in a large French multinational in the construction industry in Paris (he requested his surname not be used), described his workweek one recent evening in his office. “I work about 45 to 50 hours a week, from roughly 09:00 till 19:30,” he said.

So what about the infamous 35-hour workweek, which is the envy of much of the rest of the professional world? Is it merely a myth?

Contrary to many stereotypes, 35-hours is “simply a threshold above which overtime or rest days start to kick in”, according to French economist Jean-Marie Perbost.

Blue-collar workers are expected to work precisely 35 hours, but the hours white-collar workers (cadresin French) amass each week are not clocked. Like professionals in, say, the United States, most cadres work until the tasks at hand are done. But unlike in the US, French professionals are compensated for the hours they work beyond 35 with rest days, which are negotiated on a company-by-company basis (there were nine rest days, on average, given by companies in 2013).

Even blue-collar workers work more than 35 hours. According to French government statistics, 50% of full-time workers put in paid overtime in 2010. That percentage was likely to be higher in 2013, said Perbost. Of course, compared to the hours certain professions tally on a weekly basis, the average worker in Europe doesn’t have it so bad. Take lawyers. According to France’s national bar association (CNB), 44% of lawyers in the country logged more than 55 hours on a weekly basis in 2008. In the United States, surveys show that many attorneys work about 55 to 60 hours per week in order to meet the billable hours requirements most firms maintain.

World of Work
Average annual hours worked by full-time employees in 2011 around the world:
Germany: 1,406 hours
Norway: 1,421 hours
France: 1,476 hours
United Kingdom: 1,650 hours
Spain: 1,685 hours
United States: 1,704 hours
Japan: 1,706 hours
Canada: 1,708 hours
Brazil: 1,841 hours
Korea: 2,193 hours
Singapore: 2,287 hours
Source: Federal Reserve Economic Data
Not just France


It’s not just France where the laid-back workweek is more myth than reality. Professional hours in Spain also contrast with the country’s popular image. Pablo Martinez, a senior sales and engineering manager at a German multinational in Madrid, said he starts at 08:00 and rarely leaves before 18:30.

“Things have changed in Spain to keep pace with international markets,” he said. “It’s not uncommon for people to grab some lunch and eat it in front of their computers, which was rare 20 years ago when I started working .”

In fact, the number of full-time working hours per week across Europe is strikingly similar. According to Eurostat, in 2008, the Eurozone average was just under 41 hours per week, with France slightly under 40. The range was also slim, with a low of 39 hours in Norway and a high of 43 hours in Austria.

“It’s really the 35 hours that have created this false idea that the French don’t work a lot,” said Olivier. “The idea sticks in people’s minds. But it’s not a reality.”

Another factor that may have fed the short workweek legend: most people only consider full-time staff when they take a look at the average work week, but in much of Europe, more people are working part time. This has been a growing trend for at least 15 years and it was exacerbated by the global financial crisis that began in 2008.

“What countries with low unemployment like the Netherlands, the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Germany have done is, in effect, put one worker out of four in a part-time job,” said Perbost, the author of a study on work for the European Green Foundation, a Brussels-based political organisation funded by the EU Parliament. He added that 2012 statistics from Eurostat echo this idea.

Northern European countries, where Perbost said part-time jobs are much more common, have the lowest hours per week worked, for all workers, both full-time and part-time: the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, the UK and Germany all average around 35 hours per week, according to Eurostat’s 2012 figures. Meanwhile, Greece’s workers logged an average of 38 hours, followed closely by Spain, Portugal and Italy. French workers, collectively, clocked in at about 35 hours on average.

Take a close look at part-time working hours across Europe and a startling trend emerges. The French even work longer part-time hours than their peers.
The part-time workweek in France averages 23.3 hours, compared with 20.1 for most of the other European Union countries, according to a 2013 survey by the French employment ministry’s research group Dares.


That might help explain a few things to engineering manager Martinez. “When I call Germany after around 16:30 I’m always surprised at how few people are in the office,” said Martinez. “Maybe it’s us in Spain who’ve got it backwards.”

相关内容

在公众的印象里,有两个欧洲:勤劳的北部,拥有低失业率和生机勃勃的经济;还有一个是萧条的南部,人们宁愿悠闲地喝着浓咖啡,看着匆忙的世界。

很多人误解法国像南部一样,一周工作35小时,午餐时间长,甚至更长的假期。但是,任何一个在这个国家工作的专业人士所了解的则是另外一种情景。

巴黎一大型跨国建筑公司的高级法律顾问奥利维尔(Olivier)(他要求隐秘他的姓氏),在一个晚上,在他的办公室讲述了他一周工作时间,“我一周工作45到50个小时,从大概早上9点开始工作到晚上七点半。”

哪里只有每周35个小时工作时间,其他的职业世界嫉妒什么呢?这只是一个神话吗?
据法国经济学家让-马里-普罗布斯特(Jean-Marie Perbost)所述,与一贯的认识相反,35小时“仅仅是加班或休假的负薪临界线”。

蓝领工人的预期工作时间正好是35小时,但是白领的每周累计工作时间(法国的干部)是无法计数的。像美国的专业人士,大部分的干部需要把手里的工作干完。但是不像美国,法国的专业人士超过35小时的工作时间会得到补休,这需要单独与企业协商(2013年公司平均提供了9天的休息日)。

即使是蓝领工人工作也超过35小时。根据法国政府的统计,2010年,50%的全职工人得付加班费。普罗布斯特称,2013年,这个比例会高得多。当然,比较的只是某几个行业的每周统计,一般来说欧洲的工人工时没有那么糟糕。拿律师来说,根据法国国家律师协会(CNB)的数据,2008年,44%的本国律师每周工作超过55小时。在美国,调查显示为了满足大多数律所要求的收费小时数,很多辩护律师每周工作时间在55到60小时之间。

世界的工作情况
2011年世界范围全职雇员年平均工作时间
德国:1,406 小时
挪威:1,421 小时
法国:1,476 小时
英国:1,650 小时
西班牙:1,685 小时
美国:1,704 小时
日本:1,706 小时
加拿大:1,708小时
巴西:1,841 小时
韩国:2,193 小时
新加坡:2,287 小时
来源:联邦储备经济数据库


不仅仅是法国
不仅仅是法国的懒散被夸大了。西班牙的工作时间也与大众印象形成反差。马德里的一家德国跨国企业的高级销售和工程经理帕布鲁•马丁内斯(Pablo Martinez)称,他八点开始工作,很少有18:30以前下班的时候。

“为了与国际市场保持同步,西班牙已经变了。在电脑前面随便吃点东西当午餐也并不少见,但在20年前我刚参加工作时是很罕见的。”他说道。
事实上,纵观欧洲的全职工作时间是十分相似的。根据欧盟统计局的数据,2008年欧洲区平均工作时长接近每周41小时,法国略低于40小时。差距也十分微小,最低的挪威是39小时,最高的奥地利是43小时。

“35小时真的制造了法国人工作少的虚假印象,这个认知深深地植入人们的脑海中,但是那不是真实的情况。”奥利维尔说道。

另一个因素可能在工作时间短的传说上也起了作用:大多数人在审视平均工作时间时仅仅注意到全职工作,但是,在欧洲很多地方,更多的人是兼职工作。在过去的15年里,兼职工作的人明显增长,尤其是在2008年全球经融危机后进一步增加。

“低失业率的国家,如荷兰、英国、丹麦、瑞典和德国的做法事实上是,让四个人里有一个去干兼职。” 普罗布斯特说。他为欧洲绿色基金会(the European Green Foundation)做研究工作,那是一个由欧盟议会资助的布鲁塞尔政治组织。他还表示,2012年欧洲统计局的统计数据反应了这一观点。

普罗布斯特称,在北欧国家,兼职更加普遍。他们有最低的周工作时间,即包括的全职也包括兼职:荷兰、丹麦、瑞典、英国和德国的平均工作时间都在35小时左右,这是根据欧洲统计局2012年的数据得出的。同时,希腊工人平均工作时长38小时,紧随其后的是西班牙、葡萄牙和意大利。从整体而言,法国工人平均工作时间是35小时。

细看全欧洲的兼职工作时间,会发现一个惊人的趋势。法国人比其他人有更多的兼职工作时间。

根据2013年法国劳工部研究小组的调查,在法国的平均兼职工作时间是23.3小时,相应的其他欧盟国家大部分是20.1小时。

这可能对解释工程经理马丁内斯的疑惑有帮助。“当我在大约16:30时打电话到德国时,我总是很奇怪几乎没什么人在办公室了。可能在西班牙的我们已经退步了。”马丁内斯说。


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