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French unions clamp down on after work emails

By / April 15, 2014 / / 0 Comments

Over the last decade French unions have fought to ensure workers in France are not overworked – for example the introduction of the 35 hour work week in 2000 and providing five weeks holiday a year.

They have not stopped there.  Last week a deal was  signed that “requires” employees to disconnect from the workplace after hours.

The agreement impacts over 1 million workers primarily  across the technology and consulting sectors. A key aspect of the agreement is that employees should be left alone after the end of their work day. It is also designed to ensure employees get 11 hours consecutive rest each day.

Chairman of the General Confederation of Managers, Michel de la Force, has been quoted as saying “We must also measure digital working time. We can admit extra work in exceptional circumstances but we must always come back to what is normal, which is to unplug, to stop being permanently at work.”

Under the agreement employees should not feel pressured to deal with work emails and the like on their computers or smart phones after 6pm. According to reports on Mashable the onus lies with the employer to ensure their employees don’t feel the need to work.

These changes will impact not just local firms but also many global technology and consulting employers who have  operations in France.

With the growth of mobile devices, in Australia 88% of us now have a smartphone, we are seeing more mobile enablement of our processes.

In fact early results from our 4th Annual Australian HR Technology Survey indicate mobile enablement is the most important “new technology” available to HR in delivery of excellent HR services. But remember while these devices allow for organisations to deliver more flexible processes, without a decent break from the workplace employees will burnout, if not worse.