The article L6222-24 of the French labor code say that :

The time devoted by the apprentice to the training provided in apprenticeship training centers is included in the work schedule, except in the case of modules complementary to the training cycle, freely chosen by the apprentice and accepted by the apprenticeship training center.

For the remaining time, and within the limits of the work schedule applicable in the company, the apprentice performs the work entrusted to him by the employer. This work must be directly related to the professional training provided for in the contract.

In my employment contract, it is stated that I am paid to work 35 hours per week.

When I am in my company, I do 35 hours of work per week, so there is no problem.

But when I am in my University, I have 40 hours of courses face-to-face with my teachers per week.

I feel like the university is forcing me to attend 5 hours of classes which I shouldn't attend. Is this legal what should I do ?

  • Are you saying you have 40 hours of face-to-face (or equivalent in this pandemic hit world) training or 40 hours including private study?
    – Dale M
    Jul 6 '20 at 23:05
  • 40 hours of face-to-face with teachers in classroom.
    – Taeith
    Jul 7 '20 at 9:01
  • @Taeith: What are you studying? I can't say I've ever come across any student with that kind of work-load. Jul 7 '20 at 18:57
  • computer-science in engineering school (Paris, France)
    – Taeith
    Jul 8 '20 at 8:42
  • Are you hired as a PhD student?
    – user6726
    Jul 8 '20 at 15:21

This sounds very strange. Students aren't considered as employees whether at school, college or university.

In general, at least here in the UK, and I don't imagine it's very different in France, universities have a duty of care in common law towards their students. Hence they aren't covered by employment law, unless of course they are actually employed by the university.

Perhaps it's a private company masquerading as a place of learning. In which case this is corporate criminality and I'd recommend that you get in touch with either your local MP or equivalent who can advise you in what steps to take. And also, of course, for the authorities to take what steps they should to stop this abuse and also to indict the company and its directors with the full strength of the law.

If what you say about 'forced labour' is true - and I have no reason to doubt that - then the French legislative body adopted a law of vigilance on corporate bodies, closely modelled on the UK Modern Slavery Act, and which provides for fines upto 10 million Euros. They also recognise modern slavery as a crime from 2013, with carceral punishments ranging from 7 to 30 years. In the UK, the maximum is life. Notably, the USA also has similar legislation.

It's also worth considering getting in touch with a newspaper with a reputation for campaigning in the public good. I expect they will be very interested in what you have to say.

  • 2
    France is not a common law country
    – user6726
    Jul 8 '20 at 15:20

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