France: Bosses Banned From Emailing Employees After 6PM
Country says "Non!" to after hours work
Well, maybe "illegal" is a strong word. As the Daily Mail reported, trade unions representing IT workers have won a legally-binding agreement, which states that bosses are prohibited from contacting their employees during off hours.
This means no calls, emails, pings, or anything else that violates France's strict 35-hour working week, which was introduced in 1999.
"We can admit extra work in exceptional circumstances, but we must always come back to what is normal, which is to unplug, to stop being permanently at work," Michel De La Force, chairman of the General Confederation of Managers, told the Telegraph.
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In our hyper-connected world, there's definitely something attractive about a country reclaiming some vestige of work-life balance (remember that?). But is it actually feasible? That remains to be seen. After all, scheduling issues resulting from the 6pm cut-off will make it difficult for offices based overseas to communicate with their French counterparts.
"While we're staring down the barrel of another late one/extra shift/all-nighter, across the Channel they're sipping sancerre and contemplating at least the second half of a cinq á sept before going home to enjoy the rest of that lovely "work/133-hours-per-week-of-life" balance," Lucy Mangan wrote in the Guardian.
The deal will affect around a million French workers, including employees at Google and Facebook.