French workers can't be made to check emails after hours

Overuse of smartphones has been blamed for large-scale "burn out" of staff (iStock)
Overuse of smartphones has been blamed for large-scale "burn out" of staff (iStock)

Workers in France can now do away with the guilt of not checking emails outside work hours, with a new law coming into effect from New Year's Day.

In a world first, the legislation forces French companies to give employees the "right to disconnect" and ignore emails and their smartphones once they leave the office.

Companies with more than 50 employees will have to negotiate set measures with staff about what hours they aren't meant to send or answer emails.

The measure was introduced by the country's Labour Minister Myriam El Khomri.

The change was part of a new set of labour laws introduced in May, and unsurprisingly was the only one which didn't draw widespread protests.

There were major demonstrations against other proposals which made it easier to hire and fire employees.

France introduced the 35-hour working week in 2000, and since then, unions have argued the overuse of smartphones means employees end up working much more than that.

Newshub.