National education and labor news

Workers in France gain the ‘right to disconnect’

Workers in France gain the 'right to disconnect'

As of Jan. 1, workers in France gained freedom from work during off hours — a provision dubbed the “right to disconnect.” A new law requires companies with more than 50 employees to negotiate with workers and unions to establish a policy ensuring that work does not encroach on workers’ days off or after-work hours.

Steps companies can take to comply with the new law include avoiding use of the “reply all” function on emails or setting a time each evening beyond which employees would not be expected to reply to messages.

Some European corporations and government agencies already recognize their workers’ right to disconnect from work. Companies such as Volkswagen, Daimler and French insurance provider Axa have attempted to restrict off-hours messaging. Volkswagen, for example, established limited email server connections during evenings and weekends.

NPR, Jan. 3
The New York Times, Jan. 2

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