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French Southern Territories

Working Hours and Overtime Regulations

Understand the laws governing work hours and overtime in French Southern Territories

Standard working hours

The French Southern Territories (TAAF) do not have specific legislation outlining standard working hours. However, due to their close association with France, French metropolitan labor laws heavily influence the TAAF's employment landscape.

France adheres to a 35-hour workweek standard, established through the Auroux Laws of 1982. This translates to roughly 7 hours per day over a five-day workweek. It's important to note that this is a maximum, not a minimum, workweek.

Any work exceeding the established 35-hour weekly limit is considered overtime and must be compensated. The specific overtime pay rate depends on the presence of a collective bargaining agreement:

  • With Agreement: Overtime pay must be no less than 110% of the regular wage.
  • Without Agreement: Overtime pay should be at least 125% of the regular pay for the first eight hours and 150% thereafter.

Employers can offer compensatory rest periods instead of financial remuneration, partially or entirely, for overtime hours exceeding the annual quota (typically 220 hours).


In the French Southern Territories (TAAF), labor regulations are inherited from France. Therefore, understanding French metropolitan law is crucial for navigating overtime rules in the TAAF.

French Labor Code dictates limitations on overtime work:

  • Maximum Daily Overtime: Employees cannot surpass 10 hours of overtime per day.
  • Maximum Weekly Overtime: Over a 12-week period, the average weekly overtime cannot exceed 44 hours.

A collective bargaining agreement between employer and employee representatives can establish different thresholds, provided they adhere to French labor law.

French law mandates compensation for exceeding the standard 35-hour workweek. The specific pay rate depends on the presence of a collective agreement:

  • With Collective Agreement: Employers must pay no less than 110% of the employee's regular wage for overtime hours.
  • Without Collective Agreement: Overtime compensation increases progressively:
    • 125% of regular wage for the first eight overtime hours.
    • 150% of regular wage for any overtime hours exceeding the initial eight.

Employers can offer compensatory rest periods instead of, or partially in place of, financial compensation for overtime exceeding the annual quota (usually capped at 220 hours).

Other important considerations include:

  • Employee Consent: French law necessitates employee consent for exceeding the standard workweek through overtime. Exceptions exist for emergencies, unforeseen circumstances, or specific industries with defined exemptions.
  • Record Keeping: Employers are obligated to maintain detailed records of overtime hours worked by each employee. These records should be readily available for employee inspection upon request.

Rest periods and breaks

The French Southern Territories (TAAF) don't have their own legislation on rest periods and breaks. However, they inherit regulations established in France.

French Metropolitan Labor Code dictates minimum break requirements for employees:

  • Daily Break: Employees working more than six hours consecutively are entitled to a minimum of 20 minutes break time. This break should be free from any work obligations and allow for personal activities.

French Labor Law guarantees specific minimum rest periods to ensure worker well-being:

  • Daily Rest: Workers must receive a minimum of 11 consecutive hours of daily rest between work shifts.
  • Weekly Rest: All employees deserve a minimum of 35 consecutive hours of weekly rest. This typically translates to two full days off per week.

Night shift and weekend regulations

The French Southern Territories (TAAF) don't have their own specific regulations for night shift and weekend work. Instead, they are heavily influenced by French metropolitan labor law.

In terms of night shift work, the French Labor Code acknowledges the potential health and safety concerns associated with it. While there are no set prohibitions on night shifts, the law encourages employers to minimize night work whenever possible and prioritize volunteer assignments.

Regulations for night shift workers include medical monitoring and increased rest periods. Employers must ensure night shift workers undergo regular health assessments to monitor for any potential health issues arising from their work schedule. Night shift workers may also be entitled to additional rest periods beyond the legally mandated minimums. However, specific details regarding these additional breaks are often negotiated within collective bargaining agreements.

As for weekend work, French Labor Law guarantees a minimum of 35 consecutive hours of weekly rest, which typically translates to two days off per week. Sundays are often included in this rest period, unless exceptions apply in specific sectors. There are no outright bans on working weekends in France, and this extends to the TAAF. However, weekend work often requires prior consent from employees, unless dictated by emergencies, unforeseen circumstances, or specific industries with exemptions. Weekend work typically warrants additional compensation, the specifics of which are often determined through collective bargaining agreements.

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