It certainly is Happy New Year for French workers. Not only, since 2000, have they been enjoying a working week of 35 hours, they now have a new law, which came into force on 1 January 2017, granting them the ‘right to disconnect’.
This new law sets out that Companies with 50 workers will be obliged to draw up a charter of good conduct which includes setting out the hours when staff are not supposed to send or answer emails.
Supporters of the new law say that employees who are expected to check and reply to their work emails out of hours are not being paid fairly for their overt e, and that the practice carries a risk of stress, burnout, sleep problems and relationship difficulties.
This new ‘right to disconnect’ is part of a set of labour laws introduced in May (including measures which made it easier for firms to hire and fire employees) that unsurprisingly did not generate widespread protest and strikes!