48-hour week and one meal a day… The conditions offered to volunteers for Paris 2024 are incredible but true

“Get involved, get involved again, they said…” The Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games have been an inexhaustible source of debate since they were awarded to the city of Paris.

Medal hopes, work in the capital, choice of host sites, all subjects are discussed. In recent days, Internet users have found a new one: the conditions offered to the 45,000 volunteers who will participate in the organization and smooth running of the Games.

Eight hours a day and six days a week, against an outfit, a meal a day and a metro ticket… “At this price, I hope the lashes are free…”, “Yes, but you have to bring your own whip”… Many Internet users make fun of the meager compensation granted to volunteers, especially in view of the colossal budget invested (nearly 7.5 billion euros according to recent estimates).

Many are those who mock these announcements, incredulous, or shouting at “fake news”, and yet… 20 minutes make the point.


If registrations will not open until March 2023, the Organizing Committee for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games has already revealed the profiles and conditions of the 45,000 volunteers sought.

The conditions to rjoin together to be a candidate are simple: be over 18 on January 1, 2024, speak French and/or English and be available for at least 10 days between the opening of the Athletes’ Village (date yet to be determined) and up to two days after the close of the Paralympic Games (i.e. September 10, 2024).

The selected candidates will then become “VOP” (Olympic and Paralympic Volunteer) and will receive training in the position assigned to them (days to be added to attendance during the event). They will have to sign a charter of commitmentbut this charter leaves the VOP “the right to withdraw its commitment, at any time, for any reason whatsoever, including during the performance of the mission entrusted to it”.

Three types of missions

Also, the volunteers will be divided into three different missions. A part will be in charge of reception. Whether for the transfer of actors and spectators from train stations and airports to the various sites, orientation at the heart of the sites, information for spectators, transport of athletes between sites, but also assistance to medical personnel for VOPs with medical degrees.

The volunteers will be divided into three main missions – Screenshot

Another team will be dedicated to sports performance: installation of sports equipment, scoring and statistics, assistance to athletes on competition and training sites, medical assistance to athletes.

The third team will be devoted to communication, with in particular the management of journalists and delegations and the management of communication equipment.

volunteer volunteers

All VOPs will be in the same boat as far as remuneration according to the charter is concerned. Volunteers, they will not receive any financial compensation or gratuity (such as tips).

If the duration of the working time will be “specific to each mission” and determined “case by case having regard to its nature and its characteristics”, the mission of the volunteers is still framed.

Up to 11 hours a day and 6 days a week

Thus, a VOP cannot work more than 10 hours, consecutive or not, (break time included) in the same day. In the same way, the charter stipulates that the maximum duration of the mission cannot exceed 48 hours per week… Which means that such a volume of hours could be requested from the volunteers.

In the same vein, if the minimum rest periods of 11 consecutive hours per day, and 35 consecutive hours per week are guaranteed, this amounts to one day (plus the 11 hour break from the previous day) of rest per week, therefore 6-day weeks are to be expected for volunteers.

Certain limits are imposed on the hourly volume requested from volunteers.
Certain limits are imposed on the hourly volume requested from volunteers. – Screenshot

An additional day of rest will be granted to VOPs mobilized before 5 a.m. for the needs of certain events (in particular road events).

Transport costs and meals covered (up to a certain limit)

In compensation, the charter specifies that VOPs will see their public transport costs covered between their place of mission and their home, without specifying a distance limit to the latter.

Meal expenses for volunteers will also be covered for the duration of their mission without specifying their number. One can decently think that a volunteer who would hire at 5 am and finish at 4 pm would be granted more than one meal. Contacted on this subject, the organization has not responded to our requests for the moment.

If no accommodation costs are covered (too bad for those who come from afar), the organization nevertheless specifies that certain exceptions could be made “when the schedules of the mission and the distance from the home require a return at home too late or outside the time slots for the public transport service”.

Granted Keepsake Outfit

If these conditions are shocking on social networks, they are however usual in the organization of this type of event, as our colleagues from Liberation reminded us about the London Olympics in 2012.

But the volunteers will be able to console themselves for the marathon that awaits them with the outfit, and the accessories that could be granted to them according to their role, since the organization should allow them to keep them once their mission is completed.

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