Public holiday or day worked? Whit Monday is normally a day of solidarity towards the elderly. In fact, only 3 out of 10 employees are working.
Is always Whit Monday public holiday? Since 2004, this day is indeed worked, but the wages of the employees goes to the state, specifically a solidarity fund for the elderly. Over the years, the rule is nevertheless relaxed. The administration is well off, like the National Education. And when the children have no class, parents often stay home too. Result: in 2015, only 3 out of 10 French working for Pentecost.
The holiday of Whit Monday was created in 1801. In the Catholic religion, it marks the arrival of the Holy Spirit to the apostles. This holiday is added more to the already numerous nonworking days of May (1st and 8 May, Ascension), and had returned to the habits of the French.
But in 2004, marked by the deadly summer heat wave, the Raffarin government decides to cancel a holiday in solidarity with the elderly. This is the day of Pentecost Monday is chosen. Clearly, everyone is working that day for free: salary is donated to a specific background. The money raised helps fund and modernize nursing homes, home help create jobs specifically for older or put in place measures for the disabled.
But the French have trouble getting used to the idea of losing their Whit Monday. In 2008, the Fillon government relaxes so far. All employees must work well one day in the year for older people, but each company to set the date. Some keep Whit Monday. Other suppress an RTT, another holiday, or spread the seven hours more over the year. Some companies even offer their employees today, paying their salaries and the equivalent to the state. In practice, Whit Monday remains largely unpaid private. But as the public service has chosen not to work on (ie including schools), many employees prefer to be a day off and stay home for Whit Monday.
2.46 billion euros harvested
This idea of solidarity day is not new: invented in the US, it is also applied in Germany. In France, it continues to debate. Some unions believe that the idea of a working day without pay is not legal because "all work deserves." Conversely, Medef proposed to abolish two holidays, creating 100,000 jobs.
This day of solidarity reported 0.3% of the annual payroll this solidarity fund. In 2014, 2.46 billion euros had been raised for the elderly. The same amount should be collected in 2015.