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In France, it's illegal for work to contact you after hours

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How many of your employees are in a hurry to leave at 5pm?
 Alan Cleaver
Mobile technology, while a great advance, has meant that many of us are continually signed-on and available at all hours. We may give in to the temptation to checking our work email after hours and respond to queries as they come, but this can also mean that we don't ever truly switch off.

Except in France, where new legislation has banned employers from contacting staff after the work day has finished.

A new agreement (.PDF) between employers and labor unions now makes it illegal for managers to contact staff about "work related matters" outside of standard business hours.

Employees must have "the opportunity to disconnect from remote communication tools at their disposal," according to the agreement. In other words, for businesses to comply with working hour rules, staff must have the option to turn their devices off and not be accessible when outside of the office -- and can safely ignore emails or calls without consequence when the working day is over.

The legally-binding agreement follows changes in France to tighten already tough employment laws. Prime Minister Lionel Jospin has already enforced a minimum of five weeks' paid time off per year as well as a maximum 35-hour working week.

However, critics say that these laws, as well as the new communication-based legislation, are making it difficult for French companies to stand out in the fiercely competitive global market.

Read on: The Register 

Image credit: Flickr

Photo: Alan Cleaver

— By on April 11, 2014, 4:04 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure