Lyon seeks to lead the way in making public sector work more attractive, Source: Depositphotos

Lyon proposes 4-day week to make work more attractive for civil servants

Lyon proposes 4-day week to make work more attractive for civil servants

The experiment will commence in September

The local government of the Lyon metropolis, or Grand Lyon as it’s also known, announced that it plans to put into action a pilot project for a 4-day working week for its employees. Currently, the metropolis is amassing volunteers for the experiment, which is set to begin on 1 September and last for one year.

5,500 civil servants, from a total workforce of about 9,600, will get the chance to decide how to distribute their working hours. However, the total amount of working hours will not decrease, the implication here is that workers will get the chance to enjoy more flexibility and autonomy in deciding when to do their work.

Three possible scenarios

The legal limit of working hours in France is 35 hours per week, so this will stay the same, however, the volunteers will be able to decide how to spread out their workload in a way that suits their lifestyles and needs better.

The argument behind the proposed measure is "the advantage of making employment more attractive", as cities are facing recruitment problems"The social context is tough with the pension reform and the rise in inflation, we are committed to preserving the purchasing power and the quality of life at work for our agents,” explained Bruno Bernard, the president of GrandLyon, quoted by Le Monde.

Three different formulas have been proposed on the menu for employees to choose from. They could divide their hours so that they work a 4-day week, a 4.5-day week or alternate between weeks of 4 and 5 days.

The proposed pilot initiative will affect workers from 120 departments of the Lyon metropolis, though some of them won’t be affected as they already have specific schedules for operation – for instance, waste management. From September 2024, the plan is to make this available to everyone working for the metropolitan administration.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU