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How the COVID-19 epidemic changed working conditions in France

Population and Societies

579, July 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown forced many people in France to stop working and others to change their working arrangements. With widespread teleworking, these disruptions affected
occupational categories unequally. The effects on home life for men, women, and children differed across social categories, as Anne Lambert and her colleagues explain, drawing on
data from the Coconel survey.

The French labour market has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the recession that ensued: 30% of people in employment on 1 March 2020 were not working
2 months later. But the pandemic has also modified working conditions, disrupted life in the home, and widened gender inequalities—with the risk that such changes will translate into long-term structural effects. People in higher-level occupations more often remained in work and, unlike other social categories, many could work remotely during lockdown. The impact of the pandemic and ensuing economic crisis have been especially detrimental for women. More women than men have lost their jobs, and their working conditions are less favourable. While the conditions of teleworking are varied, it is more often associated with a deterioration of parent–child relations.

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