Tags: france | email | ban | 6pm

France Email Ban: News of 6 PM Work Cutoff Isn't Really Accurate

Friday, 11 Apr 2014 06:54 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Internet chatter this week that France banned work emails after 6 p.m. was based on inaccurate stories, and the media clarified Friday that the country itself didn't put any such ban in place.

The misinformation seemed to start with an article in The Guardian, which initially reported the agreement would affect “a million employees” and set a phone cut-off time of 6 p.m. The article has since been amended to correct the information.

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The real deal was made between employer federations and unions and covered employees in the technology sector, The Guardian said.

“The deal obliges staff to ‘disconnect’ from work calls and emails after working hours to ensure they receive the full minimum rest periods already mandated in French employment regulations but there is no particular time at which they are required to do so,” The Guardian wrote in its amendment. “While the deal was signed by unions representing 1 million employees, it will affect only 250,000 workers directly.”

Slate's French division, clearing up what got lost in translation, specified that a minimum daily rest period is required by the French government and is set at 11 hours, which leaves 13 hours people can legally work.

Slate, quoting directly from the agreement, said it lays out that employers will “take steps to ensure the possibility that the worker will be able to disconnect long-distance communication devices in his or her possession.”

That leaves a lot of room for interpretation of how that would work.

Still, many online today hadn’t gotten the message that the “French ban work emails after 6 p.m.” wasn’t really accurate, and posts continued to show up about the idea.

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