WHAT IT IS
- Part of a larger labor reform implemented by French president Francois Holland in 2016, the Right to Disconnect allows employees in companies of more than 50 people to ignore emails outside of work hours
- The concept was introduced by labor minister Myriam El Khomri in 2015 as a warning to address the health impact that “information obesity” has on people
- Effective January 1, 2017 the law obliges companies to negotiate and define the technological expectations of employees outside of work hours
- If an agreement between the company and employees cannot be reached, the company is required by law to publish a charter that explicitly notes the demands and rights of employees when out of office
WHY IT MATTERS
The tie between technological advancements and work-life balance is a tight one. By taking legal action, France has emphasized the importance of disconnecting and raised its level of seriousness to an impactful initiative akin to maternity leave or minimum wage. While some industries believe employees should be reachable at all times, others are actively against it. Before starting a job, it’s important to research the company’s culture so expectations can be met accordingly.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
- The law is still relatively new, and there isn’t a great deal of concrete evidence to assess its impact on the daily life as well as the nation and its economy as a whole.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
- The metaphysical aspect of this law and what it truly means to “disconnect”.
- Would this work in America and how it would affect various industries differently?
- The importance of family values and the expression of them in an age of technology.