mardi, juin 10, 2014

Pentecoste - Why the French work this holiday for no pay

Yesterday was Pentecoste and I did not work. 

Ten years ago, the french government decided that we should work on a public holiday and gave up our salary of that day to help the aging population. The day chosen was Pentecoste which is always on a monday.

I remembered the government saying that it was temporary and would only last a few years. 
A few years passed and the government changed the tone. Companies have the right to decide if they close on Pentecoste but they must still give a day's earnings to help the old. 

Some companies decide to make everyone work on Pentecoste while others close on this public holiday but make their employees work on an off day; be it a compensation day (RTT - reduction of time worked) or paid leave. 

My company chose to close on Pentecoste. When I was working full time, I had an off day (RTT) with every 9 working days. This is because we work 39hours a week and in France, the normal working hours is 35. Since we do not get paid for overtime, the company gives us a day off (RTT) for the extra 8 hours work. To compensate for Pentecoste, I would come to work on a RTT day. It was for me to decide when that would be since we could take RTT anytime we want. For example, today, my colleagues who were present in the office would apply for a RTT. They lost a RTT but they were even out with the replacement working day for Pentecoste. I think we have until the end of the year to even out this day.

This year, I work part-time and as such, I no longer have RTT. As I do not work on wednesday, I would have to work on one wednesday as my replacement working day for Pentecoste. I chose to do it tomorrow. 

Normally, my boys do not have school on wednesday. Tomorrow is an exception. When school term started last september, the teachers went to school on the first day to prepare. The children went to school on the second day. Tomorrow is a school day to replace the first day of school that the children missed.

Yes, this is France. It can be so complicated. With the kids in school, I can work tomorrow and one load off the shoulder. Until next year of course. 

To understand better about France and its Pentecoste working day, read this: Why the French work this holiday for no pay

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