Benalla scandal lifts lid on shadowy Élysée 'mission leaders'

France — Investigation

The political scandal surrounding Emmanuel Macron’s disgraced personal security advisor Alexandre Benalla is centred less on his thuggish behaviour in beating up May Day demonstrators while illegally wearing police insignia but rather on the secrecy of his role and his relationship with the president who afforded the 26-year-old extraordinary powers. Benalla was engaged as a ‘mission leader’ with the presidency, a vague title afforded to a number of other Élysée Palace staff whose activities are largely unaccountable to the public. Mediapart has obtained the employment contracts of Benalla and five other so-called ‘mission leaders’ at the Élysée which reveal how they are exempt from probity law requirements that apply to official advisors. Mathilde Mathieu reports.     

The rise in job insecurity in the French workplace

France — Analysis

The problem of unemployment is France is well-documented and discussed each month when the latest jobless totals are published. Less well-known, however, is the issue of underemployment affecting people on short-term contracts, in temporary jobs, on workplace experience or those trying to become self-employed. As Mathilde Goanec explains, there are two constant factors in this world of workplace insecurity – a rapid turnover in jobs and ever-greater problems in eventually finding full-time fixed employment.

France braced for fresh protests over labour reforms

France — Link

Protests over planned employment law changes led by student groups and unions are yet another challenge for embattled President Hollande.

French PM announces new labour code for early 2016

France — Link

The reform will reduce role of lengthy labour code by setting principles and replacing national bargaining with firm-by-firm negotiations.

Hollande appoints Myriam El Khomri as France’s new employment minister

France — Link

Former junior minister for urban affairs, who has limited government experience, faces key task of bringing down France's jobless rate.

Why job insecurity has become a full-time occupation in France


Insecure, short-term work is becoming the norm among many sections of French society. Fixed-term contracts lasting for up to only 18 months, jobs exempted from strict employment rules and temporary work or seasonal posts are now the lot of thousands of workers, particularly women, young people and 'senior citizens' over the age of 50. And this employment 'flexibility' looks set to be extended. Prime minister Manuel Valls has said he is considering plans to adjust the full-time permanent employment contract in France to ensure that bosses of smaller firms are not “bound hand and foot” by rules and regulations. Yet, as the most recent jobless figures show, the labour force flexibility that already exists is singularly failing to dent the relentless march of unemployment in the country. Mediapart's Mathilde Goanec spoke to people on the wrong side of this brave new world of flexible working.

French jobless total up again

France — Link

Number of people registered as out of work rose by 0.4 per cent last month, casting cloud over President Hollande's hopes of economic recovery.

French government threatens fines on firms not meeting gender equality

France — Link

Minister says 500 firms were ordered to meet legal requirements, while private-sector gap between men's and women's salaries is estimated at 27%.

EU leaders in Paris promise jobs for "lost generation" of youth

International — Link

Summit hosted by French president Francois Hollande pledges to make youth unemployment top priority but offers no new ideas to tackle it.

Britain and France in pre-EU summit spat over regulations curb

International — Link

Paris has warned that reforms of EU social and employment legislation, encouraged by London, went too far in dismantling social protections.

President Francois Hollande insists France is on the road to economic recovery

France — Link

Speaking on prime-time television a bullish Hollande insisted that 'we are almost there' on efforts to tackle unemployment in the country.

Prosecutors say Ryanair broke French labor law

Économie et social — Link

Airline accused of infringing law in contracts with 127 staff at Marseille airport as ruse to avoid paying its fair share of social security and tax.

French unions, employers agree changes to labour laws

France — Link

President Hollande leads chorus of approval over deal that will give more flexibility to employers but also offer more protection to employees.

President Hollande moves to reassure doubters

France — Link

“Decline is not our destiny" French president tells his first full press conference at Elysée palace as he battles to dispel doubts over leadership.

Peugeot job cuts plan 'not acceptable': President Hollande

International — Link

French president says in a TV interview that carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen's plan to cut 8,000 jobs is not acceptable and needs to be renegotiated.