France is about to vote on a ‘right to disconnect’ from work

Written as editor of the New Statesman’s NS Tech and first published here.

There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that being ‘always on’ might not exactly good for your health or well-being.

Well, the French government is about to vote on a long-standing plan to force companies to let their staff properly switch off from work.

Businesses with more than 50 workers will be obliged to draw up a charter that outlines when people are free to ignore emails, typically at evenings and weekends.

The plan was apparently borrowed from telecoms giant Orange, whose CEO for Middle East and Africa Bruno Mettling has voiced concerns about staff working while supposedly offline.

The ‘disconnection clause’ is part of the new French labour lawthat also plans to extend the standard working week from a rather gentle 35 to a pretty brutal 46 hours.

So, would you be happy to switch off so you can enjoy your evenings and weekends – or would that feel more painful than working 24/7?

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