France to remove one bank holiday to fund elderly care


The government is expected to announce the removal of one public holiday a year – with no extra pay for workers – as a means to finance increased support for older people.

The measure is controversial. Some say that workers should “show solidarity” to older people and support the move, but critics have rejected the idea that their work should be seen as “volunteering” to finance others.

It is estimated that the removal of one public holiday day (known as a jour férié) – and making it an extra “solidarity day” instead – could raise as much as €3 billion for the State coffers.

The government has said that the care bill for older people is set to grow by €6.2 billion by 2024, and will cost an estimated €9.2 billion extra by 2030.

Stephane Carcillo, economist at policy advisor agency OCDE, said: “This would allow us to finance extra care, while also protecting the income of the public. This will bring in more funds, but others solutions will have to be found.”

The removal of one bank holiday would put France even further behind the European average, but still far from the bottom. Currently, it has 11 official holiday days, one fewer than the European average.

Bulgaria has the most at 15, while the Netherlands has the least, with just eight.

The 2019 bank holidays in France are:

  • Tuesday 1 Jan : Jour de l’An
  • Monday 22 Apr : Pâques
  • Wednesday 1 May : fête du Travail
  • Wednesday 8 May : Victoire 1945
  • Thursday 30 May : Ascension
  • Monday 10 Jun : Pentecôte
  • Sunday 14 Jul : Fête nationale
  • Thursday 15 Aug : Assomption
  • Friday 1er Nov : Toussaint
  • Monday 11 Nov : Armistice 1918
  • Wednesday 25 Dec 2019 : Noël

Source:, The Connexion