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Emails interdits! French firms forbidden from sending work emails after 6pm

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A new legally-binding deal has been agreed in France to forbid work-related emails after 6pm.

The agreement between tech industry employers and French unions means around one million workers in digital and consultancy sectors will no longer have to answer to their employers' electronic communications off the clock.

Businessman using phone by Eiffel Tower in Paris

© Rex Features / Caiaimage


While the move has been welcomed by workers, France's vast tech presence - which includes Google and Facebook bureaus - may be less welcoming of the change.

Around 39% of workers and 77% of managers check on work-related affairs in the evening, during the weekend and on their holidays, according to a study.

The statutory agreement means employees will no longer be under any pressure to keep their work phones on.

"We must also measure digital working time," General Confederation of Managers chairman Michel de la Force said. "We can admit extra work in exceptional circumstances but we must always come back to what is normal, which is to unplug, to stop being permanently at work."

The French already enjoy a 35-hour working week, which was introduced in 1999 to reduce unemployment. However, the country's jobless rate currently stands at 10.2%.

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