France frowns on after work email

01:56, Apr 11 2014

Checking work email after hours is no longer allowed for many workers in France under a new labour agreement.

France is renowned for its commitment to maintaining a work-life balance and in 1999 introduced a 35-hour working week.

Since then the rise of the internet and smartphones has resulted in many people working longer hours and having their home lives disrupted by work-related messaging.

The French have tackled this issue with a new agreement between unions and employer groups in the technology and consultancy sectors, The Guardian and others report.

The deal, which affects hundreds of thousands of employees including those working in the French offices of Google and Facebook, gives workers permission to ignore work emails when they are not officially on duty.

Companies are required to ensure their workers are under no pressure to do work-related activity after hours.

The deal has been widely reported as a ban on after hour work emails but that takes it too far - it is just an agreement and gives workers permission to ignore their bosses when off duty.

NB: This story has been updated to reflect updated international reporting.

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