Now they don't have to check their email when not at work, which will surely fill workers in many other countries with envy.
French workers have the legal right to totally ignore work emails outside of working hours, according to a new law that will go into effect with the beginning of the new year. Companies with more than 50 employees must now establish defined hours of when staff are banned from sending or answering work-related emails.
It’s part of a bunch of new labor laws introduced in May to prevent employees from essentially working off-the-clock, as well as decrease work-related anxiety. The country also has a limit of 35 hours on the work week, a law that has been in place since 2000.
“All the studies show there is far more work-related stress today than there used to be, and that the stress is constant,” Member of Parliament Benoit Hamon told the BBC.
“Employees physically leave the office, but they do not leave their work. They remain attached by a kind of electronic leash – like a dog. The texts, the messages, the emails – they colonize the life of the individual to the point where he or she eventually breaks down,” he said.
Trade unions aren’t big fans of the law, however, because it doesn’t present any penalties for businesses that ignore it.
Others criticize the law for making it harder for France to compete with other countries that don’t have restrictions. And libertarians argue that this is none of the government’s business.