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France Wants People to Ignore Email After They’ve Left the Office

Feb 18, 2016

French lawmakers are considering a new bill that would give workers throughout the country the "right to disconnect" after work hours, meaning no more late night emails from your boss or panic attacks that you're going to miss an important Slack message.

The new rule is part of a draft bill that has been proposed as part of a larger overhaul of labor market guidelines in the nation, reported originally by French newspaper Le Parisien. The "right to disconnect" has been a major point of concern for labor unions, which have lamented what they see as an "explosion of undeclared labor" that requires employees to work well beyond the government-mandated 35-hour work week.

France passed a law in 2000 that set a strict 35-hour work week for the vast majority of French workers. It was meant to encourage companies to hire more workers since hours for any one employee would be limited. The rule has since been updated many times, and the new draft bill includes yet another revision to the work week hours that would allow more exemptions for certain companies.

If the law gets passed, the "right to disconnect" could go into effect as soon as July 2017.

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