France Is Giving Busy Workers The ‘Right To Disconnect’

France Is Giving Busy Workers The ‘Right To Disconnect’
Work

A new legal provision requires companies to create protocols that ensure work doesn't spill into after hours or days off

Kimberly B. Johnson
  • 13 january 2017

Craving a digital detox? Well, if you’re living in France, you’ll no longer need to wait till your next vacation to get one. On January 1, 2017, a new law was set in place giving employees the right to disconnect from work-related emails and all smartphone correspondence once their work day has ended. The contemporary legal provision is possibly the most pronounced revision to French employee law since the country adopted its 35-hour work week caps in February 2000.

While the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland are all known for their progressively short work weeks, with workers in the Netherlands averaging 29 hours per 4-day work week while bringing in a median annual income of $47,000 USD, France is also among these top ranking countries in terms of short work hours and vacation perks. By contrast, workers in Hong Kong, China are understood to have the longest work hours worldwide, clocking in more than 50 hours per work week, or an average of 2,606 hours per year, which is about a thousand hours more annually than Parisians.

The new measure, which constrains the hours employees are expected to hold work correspondence with the intention of managing work-life stress and employee burnout, formally requires companies with more than 50 employees to negotiate new protocols that ensure work does not spill into employee time while out of office. According to NY Times, some companies are working with consultants to create protocols that tend to the new measure. Among the recommendations made, setting a time each evening after which employees are not expected to reply has been among the most pragmatic and suggested. Several firms suggest designating the 10 hours between 9:00pm and 7:00am for this purpose, others the 12 hours between 7:00pm and 7:00am.

Craving a digital detox? Well, if you’re living in France, you’ll no longer need to wait till your next vacation to get one. On January 1, 2017, a new law was set in place giving employees the right to disconnect from work-related emails and all smartphone correspondence once their work day has ended. The contemporary legal provision is possibly the most pronounced revision to French employee law since the country adopted its 35-hour work week caps in February 2000.

+Arts & Culture
+Culture
+digital detox
+Europe
+Europe
+France
+smartphone
+work

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