Under law, French firms must maintain a strict maximum 35-hr working week, but the ubiquity of smartphones disrupts this rule
Paris: For those in the tech sector dreading the 10 pm work emails on Friday, feel a pang of jealousy for the French, as a new law will prohibit such emails after 6 pm.
Tres bien: Representatives of the tech sector union have pushed for the legislation that prohibits post-work emails. Pics/Thinkstock
The move comes after the union representing the French tech sector complained that its members were being bombarded with work emails during what was supposed to be their time off, and those emails kept them working throughout the evening.
Under French law, companies must maintain a strict maximum 35-hour working week. France became the first country in the world to implement such a rule in 1999, but the advent of widespread smartphone use is believed to be violating this rule.
The union represents 1 million of France’s tech-sector employees and will now be asking its members to simply avoid responding or looking at any digital methods of communication sent to them after the 6 pm deadline.
The question remains how some of the world’s largest tech companies with offices in Paris but headquarters in California, such as Google and Facebook, will react to the news. The time difference between France and California is nine hours, which means all email from California will have to occur no later than 9am Paris time.
French workers are reportedly rather pleased with this decision, with chairman of the General Confederation of Managers, Michel de la Force, saying a break from the screen was necessary.
“We must also measure digital working time. 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,” de la Force said.
No of people that will be benefit from the decision
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