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Can France Maintain Its Famous Work-Life Balance?07:43

This article is more than 5 years old.

Employees in France are in a league of their own. They work a 35 hours a week. They get six weeks of paid leave, plus generous striking rights.

And in the past few weeks, new rules have been agreed to that allow some employees to literally switch off their email when they leave the office in the evening.

So if you're in Asia or America and hoping to discuss a business venture with your contact in France after their work day has ended, you'll just have to call back at a more convenient time. C'est la vie.

It's all because the French are nothing if not protective of their famous work-life balance. But just how sustainable is that in a world where businesses increasingly work 24 hours a day, seven days a week? The BBC's Paul Moss sent this report.

Note: This piece can be heard in the Here & Now podcast or with the WBUR mobile app.


This segment aired on April 28, 2014.

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