RTT, overtime: the 35 hours disrupted by the purchasing power package

1er January 2002, the 35 hours ended to come into force. Twenty years later, this reform still occupies the front of the political scene. The battle, however, has evolved. It focused for a time on the issue of abolishing the legal working time, which is still the claim of some employers.

But it was ultimately the circumvention strategies that dominated, with an extension of the possibilities of derogation over the years via the extension of the field of day packages, the possibilities of fixing working hours well beyond of 35 hours or even to set an increase in overtime less than the 25% set out in the law, with a minimum of 10%.

Worn by Renaissance and LR elected officials

The purchasing power package that Parliament is in the process of adopting attacks the 35-hour week from another side: that of Nicolas Sarkozy’s “work more to earn more”, taken up by Emmanuel Macron and supported by both Renaissance elected officials than LR.

The challenge is to build a substitute for an increase in hourly wages. The draft law on emergency measures on purchasing power, which has just been the subject of a conclusive mixed joint committee, and the amending finance bill, the first reading of which was due to end in Senate on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, each include measures in this direction.

First subject: overtime. The annual ceiling for exemption from income tax on overtime pay – also exempt from employee social contributions – will be increased from 5,000 euros today to 7,500 euros for 2022, voted the deputies. They have also decided to allow the redemption of RTT days between 1er January 2022 and December 31, 2023 – a measure, however, subject to the employer’s agreement.

The takeover of RTT denounced by the unions

The LR senators blew up the temporary nature of these two measures included in the amending finance bill. We will have to see if this passes the stage of the joint committee on Wednesday, when the government wanted a temporary measure, as was the case in 2009 and 2014.

Another measure concerning overtime is confirmed because it passed the course of the joint joint committee on the bill on purchasing power on Monday: as already exists for employers with less than 20 employees, companies with 20 to 250 employees will be able to see their employers’ contributions reduced on a flat-rate basis. In this case 50 cents per overtime worked.

Denounced by the left, this part of the purchasing power package is also denounced by the unions, which have centered their attacks on the monetization of RTTs. “FO reiterates its attachment to respect for the right to rest and, more broadly, to the preservation of the physical and mental health of workers”, protested the central in a press release. “Instead of wanting to influence the wage policies of companies, to raise the issue of sharing the value produced […]Parliament serves us old recipes, ”lashed out in a tweet, the secretary general of the CFDT, Laurent Berger.

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