News & Opinion

French labor law keeps lid on workweek

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – U.S. President Donald Trump has an issue with regulations, and during his two years in the White House has tried to eliminate many of what his administration has determined to be useless directives. France, however, does not subscribe to the American vigor for eliminating red tape.

Labor endures as a powerful lobby in France, and the 35-hour workweek stands as a national legislative pillar. This week at Le Golf National, the 35-hour workweek affected many of the workers at the event.

The law, which was enacted by Parliament in February 2000, is mandatory for all companies – French or foreign – doing business, forcing all companies involved with the Ryder Cup to comply.

As a result, the British Broadcasting Corp., European Tour, PGA of America and many others working or covering the event have had to restrict their employees’ workweek.

The BBC’s chief golf reporter needed to take a day off midweek, while others from the European Tour delayed their arrival into France from the U.K. so as to comply with the restriction.

Under the law, all entities involved with the Ryder Cup must fill out time cards required by French labor officials to attest to compliance with the law. Exceptions existed for individuals who own their own companies or freelancer workers.

It also was possible to apply for an exception, but the waiver was not open-ended and certain time constraints would still exist.

How much the regulation affected coverage is unknown, but it was a big inconvenience, at the very least.

Alex Miceli is the founder and publisher of Morning Read. Email:; Twitter: @AlexMiceli