IT Workers In France Win The Right To Unplug After Work

It's after hours! If you're in France, you have the legal right to not respond to work communications. | Source: ShutterStock

It’s after hours! If you’re in France, you have the legal right to not respond to work communications. | Source: ShutterStock

France is almost as famous for its 35-hour work week as it is for mimes, berets and perfume, and for tech employees, the country is sticking to their rep: IT workers earned the right in court to unplug at the end of the work day and not respond to work emails after hours.

The Associated Press reports that a new agreement with employers gives more than 300,000 tech-sector employees added guarantees that the seemingly endless electronic work week spawned by smartphones won’t infringe on employees’ rights to France’s 35-hour workweek … if that’s what the worker wants. They’re not banned from checking their emails after 6 p.m. as some other outlets mistakenly reported.

The deal prevents workers with somewhat flexible schedules from burnout, but doesn’t apply to workers with fixed shifts.

Union official Michel de la Force explains, “If someone is in a dangerous situation of overwork, this allows them to say ‘no’.” However, Force adds, “This doesn’t forbid someone from taking a USB key from the office and working at home.”

Anyone else in the mood for croissants and baguettes?

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