France Changes Labor Laws Giving Employees the Right to Disconnect
January 4th, 2017
We’re always talking about disconnecting, grounding yourself and finding ways to incorporate calm and tranquility into life – and that often means walking away from work, computer and the smartphone. But headlines today show that French law is taking this idea of disconnecting more seriously than we could have ever predicted – and, it’s pretty exciting.
Here’s the news via CNN:
“A new labor law that took effect on Sunday gives employees the “right to disconnect” from email, smartphones and other electronic leashes once their working day has ended.
“These measures are designed to ensure respect for rest periods and … balance between work and family and personal life,” the Ministry of Labor said in a statement.
The rule requires companies with 50 or more employees to negotiate new out-of-office email guidelines with staff. Firms have a duty to regulate the use of emails to ensure employees get a break from the office.”
It’s a bold move, but one that seems incredibly apropos given the fact that so many people around the globe have become glued to email due to the smartphone. Just when you think you’ve left the office for the day or have headed out on a family vacation, you find yourself responding to email – unable to put it away. Well, the French government is taking this one into their own hands to ensure the working community has time to simply live.
According to CNN:
“French unions have long pushed for a “disconnect” rule, saying digital technologies have created an “explosion of undeclared labor” that is forcing employees to work outside the typical work week.
Marie Pierre Fluery, who works as a human resources director, said the law is necessary to help people avoid being overwhelmed by work demands.
“I think it is essential in order to preserve the health of employees,” she said.
Some French companies have already put rules in place to bar employees from using their work devices after hours. Some firms even completely shut down their email systems overnight.
The government has quoted a recent study by consulting firm Eléas that shows just over one-third of professionals use their work computers and phones outside office hours.
The email rule is the latest in a series of measures designed to overhaul France’s labor laws.”
No matter what you do for a living, everyone has a right to have time to relax and be with family. It’s the heart of life and we each have one chance to live life to the fullest. With the overwhelming demands of work happening today, it’s tough to stay focused on family and personal growth – what do you think of France’s new labor law? Can you get behind such a strict rule that puts focus on family into the forefront of the working world?