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Do remember that it was not really aplied in the private sector nor in small companies. Big companies took advantage of the 35-hour week (which were really counted on a yearly basis, actually giving them more flexibility) to reorganise work practices and actually boosted productivity. For instance Peugeot ended up with a 115% capacity use for its factories after putting it in place, thanks to its ability to put in more shifts (people working, on a volunteer basis, 30 hours mostly over the week-end, for instance)
In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
it was not really aplied in the private sector nor in small companies
Don't you mean "public" sector?
As for small companies, it depends. Very small companies didn't apply it because it just couldn't work out with only 2-3-4 employees. But from the 10-20-employee (and above) level, it was widely applied.
Some women may have lost out from flexible hours, others gained: especially those who were on part time and moved up to full time. Employment increased in that way too, not only by creation of new posts.
Jerome also commented the other day that there are legal obligation regarding worker representation, etc, beyond 10 employees, which sort of defines what is "small". That threshold might also be a factor.
A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
So it certainly entered into the calculation if you were under 10 or 20 and would go over that limit by opting to implement the law.
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