The changing face of the French seasonal worker

By

Summer is the height of the employment season for thousands of temporary workers. The caricature of the average seasonal worker in France used to be a footloose, happy-go-lucky male party animal, sporting an all-year-round tan; in summer he served cocktails on the beach, in winter he gave ski lessons. But nowadays, ‘he' is often a she, pushing 50, with a family to feed, no hope of finding a long-term contract, and little idea of how she is going to make it through the next 12 years to retirement. Noémie Rousseau reports.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

Summer is the height of the employment season for thousands of temporary workers. The caricature of the average seasonal worker in France used to be a footloose, happy-go-lucky male party animal, sporting an all-year-round tan; in summer he served cocktails on the beach, in winter he gave ski lessons. But nowadays, ‘he' is often a she, pushing 50, with a family to feed, no hope of finding a long-term contract, and little idea of how she is going to make it through the next 12 years to retirement. Noémie Rousseau reports.