France: Thales signs group agreement on working time

The management of French defence and aerospace group Thales and the trade unions signed an agreement on working time on 20 November, following three years of negotiations. The agreement provides for a new group-wide fixed working day, monitors workloads and takes account of difficult working conditions.

Through Nathalie Tran. Published on 23 November 2023 Ă  12h00 - Update on 23 November 2023 Ă  12h00

The group agreement signed on 20 November by Thales and all the trade unions (CFDT, CFE-CGC, CFTC and CGT) aims to harmonise the general framework for working hours and the organisation of working time, ensure regular monitoring of workloads and promote a better work-life balance.
To this end, the agreement provides a definition of workload that takes into account the prescribed workload (resulting from the objectives set), the perceived workload (depending on the individual) and the actual workload linked to the conditions in which the work is carried out. The text also introduces a new 214-day package, applicable to all new recruits from 1 January 2024, meaning an average increase of three working days per year. The same will apply to employees moving within the group. Lastly, it sets a maximum limit of 10 hours’ work per day, including for engineers and managers on fixed working days.

It is worth noting that the agreement also aims to facilitate internal mobility and takes account of difficult working conditions. In particular, it includes measures to support employees at the end of their careers, including the introduction of a skills sponsorship scheme, 80% part-time work for older individuals paid at 85%, compensatory quarters of pension contributions for arduous work and assistance in buying back quarters of up to €48,000 for employees who commit to retiring within 24 months. We’ll be coming back to all these measures in more detail shortly.

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