The 35-Hour Week in Independent SMEs: Reorganization and the Working Environment

By Robert Ardenti

The 35-hour work week legislation enabled many legally independent SMEs to accelerate a reorganization movement already in motion and to formalize new work scheduling management and approaches to flexibility. Among these were yearly scheduling and modulation, increased use of equipment, longer opening hours, etc. Following these changes, significant disparities can be observed according to the wage earner’s gender and socio professional category, thus reinforcing existing inequalities. New constraints are imposed on many workers, especially the less qualified ones, which worsen their working conditions, which were already unfavorable. This worsening variability and unpredictability of schedules and increased work cadence in turn lead to more weariness and stress.


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