To battle the virus, France relaxes its ban on an American behavior: lunch at your desk.

To battle the virus, France relaxes its ban on an American behavior: lunch at your desk.

PARIS — Consuming habits are pretty much as good a information to France as any, and they’re about to bear a radical change.

The Labor Ministry says it is going to quickly enable French staff to eat lunch at their desks, to be able to comprise the unfold of the coronavirus, a apply beforehand forbidden beneath Article R.4428-19 of the three,324-page French labor code, or Code du Travail.

French consuming habits have already been sorely examined by the pandemic. A 6 p.m. curfew prevents the pre-dinner cease on the boulangerie or the butcher, and the closure of all cafes and eating places has propelled takeout within the type of “le click on & gather” — an English expression the French have adopted. It has been a case of 1 indignity after one other.

Till now, any firm permitting staff to eat lunch at their desks was topic to a high-quality if found by inspectors. The ban was per the hyper-regulation of employees’ rights enshrined in a labor code, and mirrored the fierce French attachment to the nation’s “artwork de vivre.”

“We French and also you People have completely completely different concepts about work,” mentioned Agnès Dutin, a retired translator, as she wheeled a bag together with her Sunday market produce.

To eat in France, regardless of the inroads of quick meals, stays a social expertise reasonably than a matter of mere nourishment. It’s a pleasurable gathering to which a lot of life is devoted.

Within the nation that gave the world the 35-hour workweek, the American lunch-at-the-desk behavior is seen as an ominous indication of a poor understanding of the correct work-life steadiness.

“You solely have one life,” Ms. Dutin remarked.

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