"I'm being asked to work over 38 hours a week at a Paris bank"

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I work for one of the biggest international banks in Paris, and my hours are excessive. 

Right now, all the employees working here have contracts with a limited number of working hours (only 38 hours per week). This applies to us all, including in corporate and investment banking, markets, and the legal team.  

In France, any work in excess of these hours needs to be declared on pay-slips, but this never happens. Instead, it's usual for us to work over-hours. The office is usually still half full after 6pm, we're expected to participate in video calls significantly later than that and management regularly call us after 6pm and copy us into emails. Over a three-year period, the excess has been significant. 

This matters, because French law allows heavy penalties for the infringement of working hours restrictions. Employee representatives have informed management for several years of the risks, but no actions have been taken. Employees who complain have had bonuses cut, some have left the bank. 

Management could yet ask us to sign contracts with unlimited working hours, but some people may not be eligible. Equally, we have the right to refuse to turn our contracts for limited working hours into contracts for unlimited working hours unless we're offered some compensation for that. Why would we agree to work long hours if not?

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Photo by Eddie Junior on Unsplash

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