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Public Holidays
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Public Holidays 2017

This page contains a national calendar of all 2017 public holidays. Please scroll down to view..

One of the most historic and scenic countries in the world, France offers employees relatively short work weeks, amounting to 35 hours. According to French labour laws, Sunday is regarded as a mandatory day of rest for most employees. In many small villages and towns in France, the majority of shops and businesses are closed during the morning hours. One of the few exceptions pertains to boulangeries. Most national monuments, cathedrals and museums are closed on Tuesdays.

France officially observes 11 public holidays. The entitlement to paid holidays is at the discretion of the employer through either an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement with trade unions. Some regions and departments in France observe two additional holidays.

All employees are entitled to public holiday compensation after one months’ employment. French law mandates that work should stop and employees should be paid only for May Day, called the Fěte du Travail. All other paid holidays are solely at the discretion of the employer. In France, if a public holiday falls on a Saturday, no time off is granted. If an official public holiday falls on a Thursday, most businesses allow employees to take Friday as a “bridge” day, allowing for an extended four-day weekend.

Unlike other European countries, if a public holiday falls on a Sunday, French employees are not entitled to take the following Monday as a paid holiday. French law is silent as to whether employees required to work on public holidays are compensated at a higher rate than normal salaries.

Summer Vacations and Employee Benefits

Given the fact that the work week is only 35 hours, employees are paid at a rate of 25 percent above normal wages for an initial eight hours of overtime per week. Any hours worked in excess of eight hours are compensated at a rate of 50 percent above normal wage, known as time-and-one-half. French labour laws guarantee all employees a minimum daily rest period of 11 hours, which essentially amounts to an evening off. Employees are guaranteed a weekly rest period of 35 consecutive hours, including Sundays.

In addition to entitlement to paid public holidays, French employees are guaranteed a minimum of five weeks of paid vacation per year. This amounts to more than six weeks of paid leave per year. Most French government offices, businesses and retail establishments are closed for at least two weeks at the end of July or in early August. Large metropolitan cities and small towns are essentially shut down, allowing the perfect opportunity for employees to take vacation or personal leave. Most French people leave the cities and flock to the beaches or mountains for a four-to-six week sojourn.

Public Holidays 2017

1 JanSunNew Year's Day
14 AprFriGood Friday
(only Alsace and Moselle)
17 AprMonEaster Monday
1 MayMonLabour Day
8 MayMonVictory in Europe Day
25 MayThuAscension Day
4 JunSunWhit Sunday
5 JunMonWhit Monday
14 JulFriBastille Day
15 AugTueAssumption of Mary
1 NovWedAll Saints' Day
11 NovSatArmistice Day
25 DecMonChristmas Day
26 DecTueSt Stephen's Day
(only Alsace and Moselle)