France makes it illegal to work after 6PM

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posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 03:39 AM
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Work-life balance is something that can be considered a social issue, especially in the ratrace of today´s world, so I hope this subforum is the right place to post it


You know the time, when you have finished your work day and would just want to relax at home and suddenly...

Your boss calls... or sends you an email, asking you to do whatever task.

Well, now France found a solution to it, requiring the bosses to ensure their employees not having to do work-related activities after work day has ended.


Well, sort of. Après noticing that the ability of bosses to invade their employees' home lives via smartphone at any heure of the day or night was enabling real work hours to extend further and further beyond the 35-hour week the country famously introduced in 1999, workers' unions have been fighting back. Now employers' federations and unions have signed a new, legally binding labour agreement that will require staff to switch off their phones after 6pm.

Under the deal, which affects a million employees in the technology and consultancy sectors (including the French arms of Google, Facebook, Deloitte and PwC), employees will also have to resist the temptation to look at work-related material on their computers or smartphones – or any other kind of malevolent intrusion into the time they have been nationally mandated to spend on whatever the French call la dolce vita. And companies must ensure that their employees come under no pressure to do so. Thus the spirit of the law – and of France – as well as the letter shall be observed.


www.theguardian.com...

That is one of the laws I really find important. There is currently no choice for many people, especially for lower level employees, who do not want to lose their jobs and often the companies just take advantage of it, expecting their employees putting in more hours than required by contract. That is a definite problem in the 24/7 business culture and can often lead to severe stress/depression, broken relationships, family troubles etc.

Without legally taking action against such things, the employees are the ones who will suffer. As long as companies are allowed to do it, there is nothing an employee can do - they are just expected to do accept being bothered at any time, even after work. "Don´t like it, go away, we´ll find someone who is willing to also work after the work day" is the common attitude.

At least now, such thing is not an option
Hopefully the results will be positive and sooner or later other sectors in France, other countries EU would also follow. People are more important than profits
edit on 11-4-2014 by Cabin because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 03:41 AM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


Yeah I can get behind that idea. No more bothering me when I'm at a bar.

Hope they introduce the idea worldwide.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 03:49 AM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


If you have experienced the joie de vivre of Paris in a cafe or park around 18:00 in summer, you have to admit that maybe the French have a clue about what is important in life and are willing to protect it. Like their food.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 03:53 AM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


Something similar is discussed in Germany, I hope this will be implemented here too.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 04:02 AM
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Sounds like a good reason to not get a cell phone right away. My boss never got in the habit of texting me. I'm wondering if that will change whenever I buy a smart phone.

I'm still planning on buying one some day.

I believe the French have it correct. Employers and government should be trying to curtail worker overload and stress by restricting employers from making employees feel like they need to be on call anytime even if the company is not paying them to be. I do not think there is much worse than a boss who is too demanding expecting you to work extremely long hours without extra pay just because that's his opinion of what you should be doing when the company itself doesn't care and will never pay you anything extra.
edit on 11/4/14 by orionthehunter because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 04:17 AM
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To be fair, its completely up to you, if you leave your work phone on when you get home or not, if you respond to an email after hours its nothing more than generous.

I work in IT and i generally leave my phone on, i generally only respond to emergency issues because i like to be helpful and support my staff, but i tell them if they send an email after hours to not expect a response.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 04:23 AM
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Biigs
To be fair, its completely up to you, if you leave your work phone on when you get home or not, if you respond to an email after hours its nothing more than generous.

I work in IT and i generally leave my phone on, i generally only respond to emergency issues because i like to be helpful and support my staff, but i tell them if they send an email after hours to not expect a response.


The problem lies in many companies expecting employees to leave their work phones on and if they can not be reached, then problems might arise, which at worst could lead to finding an excuse to not give a raise or even fire the person.

If companies are allowed to do that, many do. If someone is voluntarily willing to do extra, the same is often expected from other, or someone else who is willing to put in the extra hours is hired instead.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 04:25 AM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


I call bull, people just dont stand up to their bosses, they [the bosses] simply cant expect you to be on call unless its in your contract.

Pretty simple.
edit on b2626423 by Biigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 04:27 AM
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As much as I hate this kind of legislating, even if it wasn't law/agreement, this should be embraced by employers out of their own sense of family (they have families too). A lot of societal and relationship problems might be avoided if priorities were different at all levels. It is easy to get caught up wanting to take care of "just one more thing". Think of how many divorces have probably happened due to "I'm just going to take care of one more thing and then come home"...every day for years because you feel your job "depends" on it.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 04:31 AM
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reply to post by Biigs
 


And that is the attitude, which in most companies can lead to getting fired. Unless you are indispensable to the company, even though you are not legally obliged to work after hours, if you don´t do it, some other reason is found for letting you go (and taking somebody in who is willing to it) or just not giving a raise, which instead is given to the ones who voluntarily do it.
edit on 11-4-2014 by Cabin because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 04:32 AM
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This law obviously only affects people that work Monday to Friday 0900 to 1700, and yes, for those people it's a great law......some of us have jobs that require us to work around the 24 hours clock, like nurses, doctors, emergency, firemen.........but hey, I don't complain, I absolutely love my job but I do think we are not paid enough for the hours and the importance of our roles.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 04:36 AM
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I'm split on this issue. On one hand I see where it's good that employees don't have to put in extra unpaid hours just to make their boss happy, but on the other hand what about a struggling start up where the employee really wants to put in extra effort and make the company succeed? Some people enjoy work and take pride in creating a product.

If that's how a person wishes to spend their time, I think they should legally be allowed to.

Unfortunately, there's the issue of the employer now expecting the employee to want to spend their time at work. It no longer becomes a thing where the employer is told, but the expectation remains.
edit on 11-4-2014 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 04:57 AM
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I really dont get it, if company's want you to be on call, just put it in the contract, they cant enforce something they havnt asked for.

And you certainly cannot be fired for NOT doing something thats NOT in your contract. Thats why we all have contracts.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 05:19 AM
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Typically European.... Mean while the rest of the world conducts business as usual.



Korg.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 05:21 AM
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Nice they have laws governing this for some. But as many have mentioned, not feasible for some many jobs in IT and other areas. So we try to get around that by allocating someone as on call to at least spread the love around, but depending on your specialty, in a era where many of us are typically doing more than one job and employers don't see the value of training more than one person for a job, that doesn't always work out so well either.

Also, salaried (vs hourly) employees are expected to work whenever necessary with no such thing as overtime pay. Theoretically, this allows flexibility and balance in schedules and hours, with people working more when needed by the employer and less when needed by the employee or to make up for extra time required by the employer. It's supposed to all balance out. Yeah sure. In reality, we're lucky to be able to even take our yearly allotted vacation days, never mind work less than a 50-hour work week and most weeks and 60 hours in a lot of cases and be frowned on, judged, perceived weirdly should we ever try to take a shorter than 40-hour week ever to make up for any of that.

Contracts? That's funny. No such thing here.There's very little protection for employees in the U.S., the land of at-will employment and firing people at 24.5 years to deny them their pensions for which they labored "under a contract" of the expectation that 25 years they might finally get to have an uninterrupted week or two or to breathe easy.

As to the rest, I agree. Just don't answer your phone. Just say no. But many people fear that doing so will put their job in jeopardy. And a lot of the time, they're right. If they don't do it, someone else will.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 05:31 AM
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Biigs
reply to post by Cabin
 


I call bull, people just dont stand up to their bosses, they [the bosses] simply cant expect you to be on call unless its in your contract.

Pretty simple.


You can call it what you want, you have the right to your opinion.
But as someone who lives and works in France, and is stuck with the problem of whether or not to answer my cell on my rest day, or afterhours, considering I'd like to keep my job, it is a problem.

It is simple-
I get repeated three month contracts. For years. If they do not feel I have given everything and anything they ask of me, they simply do not renew it. I'm out. They do not have to give any reason. And they use this.

There is tons of people trying to get this job, and they have plenty waiting at the door for me to make the boss unhappy in anyway.

I don't have much hope in this doing much- regular shifts go late into the night at a hospital. That will provide a loophole for them.

I appreciate the idea though.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 05:36 AM
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reply to post by Biigs
 


Ideally that is how it should be, but the world is far from ideal.

I have seen it first-hand (luckily I was not the victim, but a fellow employee in the same company). In their position, even though their job on paper required 40-hour weeks, the company expected them putting in 50-55 hours, while the overtime was paid for less than half of the extra hours. If somebody raised it up, some other reason was found for letting them go. If somebody asked some safety inspection come in, demanded full overtime pay, they were soon let go.

Of course the company can not let go somebody on paper because of that reason. Some other reason was found, even tiniest mistakes could lead to firing someone, for example, the worst I saw, was when an operator at some machine went to the restroom after finishing with the first detail. He left machine uncleaned, as he was about to start next one right after, it is unpractical cleaning the machine inbetween. It is constantly done by everybody else and still is (probably) but he got fired because of it. Of course, the real reason lied in him refusing to do overtime, but that was the reason which was written in the paperwork, legally valid reason for letting someone go. Or such employees are just mentally terrorised, until they decide to leave themselves (a´la giving more menial tasks, nagging on every detail (even unnecessary ones) etc)

I left that company at first option, but I know many employee there did not have much other options either and that is the reason they stayed and did it.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 05:43 AM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


I agree, this absolutely does happen, my father, a CEO for a small company said that if they didnt like you for any reason they would find somthing to fire you for. Even if you had an otherwise perfect record, they would find somthing.

However, in the UK you are not expected to work outside your paid hours but if you work in IT support like i do, they do expect to leap on an emergancy though they wont fire you if you dont.

Whistle blowers are needed if a company is synonymous with illegally firing for non-contractual agreements, people who keep their head down because they are worried for them selves are nothing but cowards. We all know companys will get away with whatever they can to save money.

Extra hour, out of hours, means one less hire for them. Which is bad for everyone since theres also one less job going.

If you lot stay quiet, you will get treated like garbage forever.
edit on b4444537 by Biigs because: typo



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 05:49 AM
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This law protects workers from control-freak bosses. A fine law, and I hope other lawmakers work on it to make sure it spreads like wildfire (but only work on it before 6 p.m.)



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 07:01 AM
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I'll bet all the corporations are quaking in their shoes for fear of workers starting to gain their rights back haha.

I hope other countries follow suit.

I ask this: If asylum seekers can apply to stay in the UK based on their 'right to a family life', why can't this same 'right' apply to regular working citizens too? Shouldn't we all have a right to family life?





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