French carmaker Renault put most of its white collar staff in the Ile-de-France region around Paris on partial unemployment on Monday as the lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus outbreak lowered activity.
The company will use the scheme that French government has set up to fight the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.
Under the scheme, Paris has pledged to reimburse companies so that workers placed on partial unemployment can still get most of their salary.
"After a two-week stoppage of industrial and commercial activity, it is necessary to adapt the working hours of employees", a Renault spokeswoman told Reuters.
From Monday and until further notice, Renault white collar staff will work from home in the morning and will be on partial unemployment in the afternoon.
Only a few people will keep their full-time jobs to ensure key activities such as security, maintenance and communication.
The partial unemployment measure in the region of Paris will affect around 1,500 to 2,000 people, a union source said.
In Renault production plants in France, employees will remain on furlough.