This is work-life balance like you’d have never imagined. France has passed a new law that makes it illegal for companies to send emails to employees after work hours. Called the “right to disconnect law”, it’s been put in place to allow employees to take full advantage of their time off.
France has been a pioneer in employee benefits, with employees enjoying 30 days off in a year and 16 weeks of fully paid family leave. “All the studies show there is far more work-related stress today than there used to be, and that the stress is constant,” Benoit Hamon of the French National Assembly told the BBC. “Employees physically leave the office, but they do not leave their work. They remain attached by a kind of electronic leash— like a dog. The texts, the messages, the emails — they colonize the life of the individual to the point where he or she eventually breaks down.”
In our article where 22 Indians share personal stories on what it’s like working abroad, the France representative had this to say, “Working at night is frowned upon. In fact many people leave their official mobile phones in office!”
This is something most Indian professionals will readily identify with. Forget receiving emails, most IT jobs require late night calls with clients from the US. These are typically taken from home, long after official working hours are over. Bosses too aren’t averse to letting employees work long hours to meet deadlines. And work-life balance is something that remains confined to HR presentations. This piece of stats by Forbes points to the shocking fact that Indians work the most number of hours per week.
Millennials in India work an average of 52 hours each week https://t.co/QW1ILgmPf7 pic.twitter.com/LJkkOGaUtr
— Forbes (@Forbes) May 28, 2016
While there’s no proposal currently to implement this law in India, one can dream.