French Tech Industry Employers & Unions Forbid Evening Emails

work_lifeIt’s beginning to feel more and more like we live to work whereas other parts of the world work to live.

Case in point — according to The Guardian, employers’ federations and unions have signed a legally binding labor agreement that actually requires employers to ensure their employees are disconnected outside working hours. Smart phones, they’re talking to you, too.

The deal will apparently impact approximately 250,000 workers in technology and consulting ranging from Facebook employees to Google, Deloitte to PwC. This means employees can’t be penalized if they don’t respond to a work-related message after 6 p.m.

Going forward, employees cannot be penalized if they do not respond to a work messages during off hours. This encompasses emails whether they’re on a computer or smartphone, it’s hands off.

This new development follows up a 1999 agreement that declared the country instill a 35-hour workweek. We should add some reports indicated employees also receive five vacation weeks each year.

Everyone doesn’t agree with the new mandate, however. Per a FoxBusiness piece, Pam Villarrel calls the news “absurd.” The U.S. labor expert at the National Center for Policy Analysis explains in the piece:

“Within the tech industry and digital consultancy sectors, there’s always something going wrong off the clock—when a computer goes down, it doesn’t go down between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Even though workers overwhelmingly support this, it will be interesting to see how it pans out in terms of productivity—knowing people who work in the tech industry, it’s one of the most likely where something goes wrong after hours.”

She doubts the ban will hit here anytime in the near future. Villarrel adds, “Think of big tech corporations—they wouldn’t agree to not contacting their employees after 6….If it happened here, companies would probably try to outsource to India or China, countries without such strict labor regulations.”

Publish date: April 11, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT