Pentecost Monday 2023: public holiday or worked, according to which modalities?


Pentecost Monday 2023: public holiday or worked, according to which modalities?

PENTECOST MONDAY. This Monday, May 29, 2023 is a public holiday in France, but it is not necessarily a day off. Whit Monday can also be chosen as a day of solidarity by your employer. Explanations.

[Updated May 24, 2023 12:01 PM] Pentecost celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit fifty days after Easter to Jesus' apostles. It is therefore a Christian holiday, although it is inspired by the Jewish holiday of the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot). According to the New Testament, more precisely according to the Acts of the Apostles, it was on the day of Pentecost that "divine inspiration" came to the apostles in the cenacle of Jerusalem, ten days after the Ascension of Christ, i.e. fifty days before his Resurrection.

In France, the week following Pentecost has long been a holiday. It was after the Revolution, with the Concordat of 1801, that people were content to be unemployed only on Pentecost Monday. Officially, it is the law of March 8, 1886 which fixes Whit Monday as a public holiday. In 2004, the day of solidarity established by the Raffarin government to finance "actions in favor of the autonomy of the elderly or disabled" has been established to this day.

But since 2008, this day of solidarity, which consists of an additional day of work carried out by employees, without remuneration in return, no longer necessarily falls on Whit Monday. The law no longer mentions this date, further explaining that the solidarity day is chosen by the companies according to an agreement set within the company or establishment, or failing that, according to an agreement by branch.

The confusion is great but the conclusion is simple. Since the signing of the Concordat of 1801 between the Catholic Church and Napoleon in 1801, Whit Monday had been a public holiday throughout France. But the situation changed in 2003. That year, a heat wave caused the death of 15,000 people, mostly elderly people. Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin then proposed the abolition of a public holiday, replaced by a "Solidarity Day", intended to finance "actions in favor of the autonomy of the elderly or disabled". Whit Monday is selected: employees are invited to work without compensation in return.

The French bishops did not protest against this measure, since Pentecost Monday is no longer considered a major ceremonial day since the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). It is especially on the social ground that the measure will be challenged, as on that of the sums actually released for the elderly. Whit Monday would have brought in just over 2 billion euros in the first years of the application of the measure. Already flexible in its initial version of 2004, the working solidarity day will be completely disconnected from Pentecost Monday from 2008. A Monday which will therefore remain a full public holiday, alongside the other off dates linked to a Christian holiday such as All Saints' Day .

In fact, it is independent of the calendar today and therefore does not necessarily take place on Whit Monday. Employees see their annual remuneration reduced by one working day to finance dependency. Employers are then responsible for "compensating" as they wish for this "lost" day of work and salary. The law of April 16, 2008 (consult it here), which modified the system, stipulates that if the unpaid working day is maintained, it can take other forms (day off or RTT less, work a à la carte holiday which may be the Monday in question, etc.).

Whether your day of solidarity is carried out on such or such a day, continuously or split up, the work accomplished will remain unpaid, most of the time within the limit of 7 hours or that of one working day in the case of employees working at the daily rate. Today, the main options remain: 1/ a working holiday other than May 1; 2/ the removal of one day of RTT; 3/ seven unpaid overtime hours to be spread over the year. The employee is then obliged to work but can also take a day off with pay, with the agreement of the employer or RTT. For this day of solidarity, the employer must for its part pay a contribution equivalent to 0.3% of its annual payroll.

The methods of the Solidarity Day are either fixed by a collective branch agreement, or by decision of the employer, as specified on the website of the Ministry of Labor. The "Solidarity Day" measure affects all employees, except trainees, and does not concern the liberal professions. Whit Monday has therefore become a public holiday like any other. According to a study carried out by the temp group Randstad, only 20 to 30% of employees are present at their post that day. The National Solidarity Fund for Autonomy (CNSA) claims that the "solidarity day" scheme has brought in more than 30 billion euros since its establishment in 2004. It allows the State to collect around 2.5 billion euros per year for the elderly and disabled. Of this sum, nearly 1.4 billion euros must be allocated to the elderly via the Personalized Autonomy Allowance (APA), paid by the departments or the financing of medico-social services. Just over 900 million euros will go to the disability compensation benefit or to medico-social services welcoming people with disabilities.

The measure has always been contested by labor unions. The CFDT sees it as "an unfair mode of financing which is mainly based on the contribution of employees alone", the CGT considers that the law of 2004 establishing the day of solidarity (then of 2008) is "unfair". On May 13, 2016, the French Confederation of Christian Workers published a press release harshly criticizing the scheme by giving examples of "aberrations": is it fair that a supermarket employee can be forced to work for free on a public holiday? , while an SNCF agent is supposed to work 1 min 52 more per day to fulfill the so-called 'solidarity' day?

The Pentecost weekend period is usually marked by warmer temperatures, especially since the days are already very long as the summer solstice approaches (the length of the day thus exceeds 15 hours in Paris at the end of May, giving the soil time to warm up in case of clear weather). The Ice Saints, harbingers of the last frosts of the year between May 11th and 13th, are all over...Enjoy!

Originally, Pentecost Sunday celebrated an essential religious episode for Christians. According to the Bible, seven weeks after Easter (the resurrection of Jesus after his death), and about ten days after the Ascension (the moment when he leaves the land of Men), the apostles of Jesus were gathered in a place called Cenacle . This high place in Jerusalem - whose name will pass into common language - was already the scene of the Last Supper, Christ's last meal. "Suddenly there came from heaven a sound like that of a rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Tongues, like tongues of fire, appeared to them, separated from each other, and laid upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance," describe the Acts of the Apostles. Pentecost is therefore the celebration of the arrival of the Holy Spirit. For Christians, it is the third element of the Trinity with the Father (God) and the Son (Jesus). This entity pushes the prophets to action, but also all human beings. The irruption of the Holy Spirit, already announced in the Old Testament, marks the beginning of the Catholic Church, since it is the Holy Spirit who will push the apostles to spread the good word from that day on. Note: In the Bible, the events of Pentecost are reported to occur at the time of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, which celebrates the giving of the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai. The tradition of religious practice at this time of year therefore predates the advent of Christianity.

In 2023, the Christian feast of Pentecost is set for Sunday, May 28 for Pentecost and Monday, May 29 for Whit Monday, the holiday nature of which is not systematic.

Like the Ascension, which it follows by ten days, the day of Pentecost is fixed according to the date of Easter. The celebration of Pentecost indeed takes place among Christians on the seventh Sunday after Easter, that is forty-nine days after the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ as stated in the Bible (that is, the 50th day after this feast). The date of Pentecost Monday is fixed immutably the day after this celebration. The date of Whit Monday therefore follows that of Easter by 50 days: seven weeks of seven days to which is added an additional day to switch from Sunday to Monday.

The dates of Ascension and Pentecost are therefore directly impacted by the date of Easter, which is calculated according to the rules of Ecclesiastical Computing, which specifies the methods of fixing according to the phases of the moon and the spring equinox. Since the Council of Nicaea, held in the year 325, Easter takes place on the Sunday following the first full moon which follows March 21, that is to say between March 22 and April 25. This means that Ascension and Pentecost can only "fall" between the beginning of May and the beginning of June.