France gives workers 'right to disconnect' from office email


French workers have won the right to ignore business emails that arrive after hours.

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.


Excellent idea.


I agree. I so wish this were a reality in the US. I really work about the lack of balance experienced here…


Interesting find, Grace!

I’m just puzzled as to why this law would even be necessary. It says to give them the option, but are employers in France really so fussy as to check on employees checking e-mail after hours? :confused:


It’s not a matter of checking on people answering emails, it’s that employers expect employees to do so. In other words, they aren’t having their IT people verify logon and attempts to access, it’s that bosses and/or customers send emails at all hours of the evening or while somebody is on vacation and the recipient is expected to respond.

I have heard from several people who have been issued cell phones by their respective employers and who say that they have been chided, denied salary increases and even disciplined for being unresponsive/unavailable despite the cell phone “removing any excuses for so being”.

I think it’s a problem in this country.


Devices were supposed to free us from having to be in the office. What has really happened is it has made us always in the office. We definitely need to reform our expectations and practices with regards to work email after business hours.


Some employees in the United States may sometimes require that employees be responsive to e-mails. I’ve worked at such a place before. Be it holiday, nights, or weekends some of the employees I’ve had wanted to have workers basically “on call” in case something they considered to be an emergency came up (it would be considered a fault for the employee if they are not reachable). This can affect how relaxed that someone is able to be or even what activities that a person can do. There was usually no extra pay or any other compensation or incentive for such requirements. Coming from that background I can see the value in such a right being granted.


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