Ironically, a move by France and Italy to generate jobs could cost them jobs if foreign investors make good on threats to move elsewhere rather than abide by the newly mandated 35-hour work week.
Also, some French firms have found a way around the new rule. They report that their marketing staffs, software workers, and other computer-based employees are at their office desks for the "official" 35 hours. But with PCs and email networks provided by management, they continue to do their jobs from home off the clock.
Also worth noting: While the French and Italians are spending less time at work, employees in the U.S., the UK, and Sweden are spending more hours on the job.