Oct 21 (Reuters) - Plasti-Tremp, a plastics maker in central France, is one of the first companies to have signed a collective performance agreement under labour reforms introduced by President Emmanuel Macron.
The agreements are aimed at making companies more competitive through bargaining on a company level.
Working time at Plasti-Tremp went from 35 hours to 39 hours a week. The company also stopped fully compensating sick leave days to reduce absenteeism that was not justified.
Here is how Macron's reform made those changes possible:
EXTENDING WORKING TIME
Labour reforms adopted over years already allowed some flexibility in the 35-hour workweek adopted in France in 2000. However, every workers still had to approve any changes in his or her work contract, said Joseph Tayefeh, head of Plastalliance, an employer federation for the plastics sector.
With the collective performance agreement, companies need only the union representative's approval or, when there is no union, the workers representative's approval to change working hours, salaries and worker mobility.
PAID SICK LEAVE
The French security system offers financial support after three days of sick leave. The benefits usually amount to 50% of the average wage, up to a maximum of 45 euros ($50) per day. But most private companies have a sick pay scheme that compensates for the wage difference from the very first day.
In the plastics sector, a collective agreement stated that companies had to give compensation up to 90% of the worker's salary for the first 30 days of absence and then two thirds of the wage for the 30 following days.
Macron's reform allowed the company to bypass the sector-level collective agreement. Compensation benefits are now given after five days of sick leave. The law had required a contribution after seven days. ($1 = 0.8957 euros) (Written by Caroline Pailliez, Editing by Christian Lowe and Timothy Heritage)