In France, forget work after 6pm: Employees can now legally ignore calls and e-mails from their bosses

The legislation comes as opinion polls continually portray M. Hollande as by far the most unpopular leader in the history of modern France

Workers in Socialist France can now ignore telephone calls and emails from their bosses when they are at home.

It is all part of a new legal agreement which confirms President Francois Hollande’s country as arguably the laziest in Europe.

As well as enshrining the 35-hour working week as a cornerstone of French life, his party has cut the retirement age by two years since coming to power two years ago.v
The French also enjoy six weeks paid leave, and extremely generous sick leave and striking rights.

Now employers will no longer be allowed to contact staff during the 133 hours of the week designated for rest.

It is all part of a new agreement signed by employers’ federations and trade unions in the digital and technology sectors.

The law specifically makes it illegal for workers in the digital and consultancy sectors – including the French offices of Google, Facebook, Deloitte and PwC – to respond to emails or phone calls after 6pm.

Staff will be ordered to switch off their work phones, and companies must ensure that their employees come under no pressure to look at work-related emails or documents on their devices.

Strict French labour laws have already seen Apple fined for making staff in France work nights…

* * *
Hollande’s motto seems to be, “When you are in a hole, keep digging.”