NPR logo The End of Sunday In France?

The End of Sunday In France?

A cafe in France

The end of leisurely Sundays at the cafe? killermonkeys/flickr hide caption

toggle caption killermonkeys/flickr

As the French celebrate their revolution on Bastille Day, the government is set to debate another huge change for French society: allowing more work on Sunday.

As it stands now, Sundays are a mandatory day off. There are some loopholes to this, but for the most part, shops are closed. The new law would allow stores in France's large cities to be open on Sundays, and employees who agree to work would be paid double overtime. Not a bad deal.

Supporters of the bill, including President Nicolas Sarkozy, say that the move will help boost retail sales, make France more competitive worldwide, and improve the ailing French economy. Sarkozy has crusaded against the French propensity towards time off since his election in 2007.

But there's heavy opposition to the bill from opposition parties, unions, and even the Catholic Church. Some claim that it's an assault on French culture, and that the move will "abolish Sunday."



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.