France to reform ‘overly complex’ labour laws next year, PM says | EurActiv

This is an important story from EuActiv, reporting French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, annoucing that the French government will propose legislation to simplify over-complex labour laws and promote more collective bargaining accords at a sectoral level.

Source: France to reform ‘overly complex’ labour laws next year, PM says | EurActiv

I know France very well and understand the French people  – I also seriously respect their desire to protect the French way of life. I have discussed the French labor system with French friends and am convinced that these proposed reforms will lead to massive strikes in France.

France’s working population is polarized – it’s a bit like Spain before her reforms. On the one hand is the group protected by traditional employment contracts, with rich benefits, early retirement and a 35 hour week – in particular, there is the public sector, where there is no competition like in the UK where the public sector has been mauled by austerity. On the other hand, are the young and those out of work who struggle to get a job – they’re often exposed to what an unemployed French friend described as a ‘scam’, whereby the likes of fast-food outlets take advantage of casual employment contracts.

I really admire France’s desire to respect the French way of life, like not working Sunday and keeping it free for church, the family or sports. On the other hand, the French employment system protects the privileged and is unfair to the young and the disadvantaged.

My personal conclusion is that France’s unions will block the reforms, putting France into confrontation with the rest of Europe, especially Germany.




Self-employment | The Economist

Be prepared for a surprise when you look at these international statistics on self-employment published by the Economist.

Despite all the hype about land of opportunity in the US, it’s suprising how few people are prepared to take the risk and be self-employed.

Both John Gelmini and myself have had lengthy careers in international corporate life working for well-known multi-nationals. Then we reinvented ourselves and became self-employed.

For me personally, becoming self-employed was one of my best decisions.

OK you’re your own boss but you need to learn new skills in developing clients, supplier relationships and networking. Also your work must take priority – normal life may get subordinated.

With increasing technology, traditional jobs will disappear at an escalating rate. Career cycles will become shorter and shorter, even for highly qualified professionals.

In many major intersections in India’s major cities, the unskilled stand on corners hoping to get day-work to maintain their frugal lifestyle. With less social security, in twenty years time, this could be happening in major cities around the world.

Sooner or later, you will need to look at being self-employed as your traditional work options dry-up. Spread your risk now and look at self-employment before all your peers. Don’t just be another ‘Me too’, get ahead of the pack!