France's Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, has suggested the 35-hour week brought in by his Socialist party in 2000 is open to review.
Asked about the possibility of restoring the 39-hour week during a meeting with newspaper readers, he said, "Why not? There is no taboo."
His remarks sparked a political storm and Mr Ayrault later appeared to play them down.
The Socialists won the May elections, promising to protect the measure.