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22 April 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Half of French private sector workers having salary paid by state, minister says

By Samuel Horti

Half of French private sector workers are now temporarily unemployed and receiving the majority of their salary from the state, the country’s Labour Minister Muriel Penicaud has said.

Under the government’s social security scheme, which is similar in design to the UK government’s furlough programme, the state will cover 84 per cent of an employee’s salary so that their company does not have to lay them off. More than 10 million employees have now joined the scheme from 820,000 companies, representing more than 60 per cent of all firms in France, Penicaud said.

“It’s a considerable number, we’ve never done anything like it in our country.”

In building and construction, 93 per cent of all workers are on the scheme, as are 90 per cent of those in the hotel and restaurant sector.

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