Early this year, France enacted a new law concerning the right of French employees to disconnect from digital devices off hours. The intent is to reduce work-induced stress and enable employees to benefit from their rest time at night, on weekends, and during vacation.
On May 9th 2017, Bryan Cave Labor & Employment lawyers Sarah Delon-Bouquet, Federica Dendena, Gary Freer, and Martin Luederitz from four jurisdictions – France, Germany, Italy and the UK – presented a highly attended webinar discussing the recent developments in France and Europe. For those clients operating globally and across various EU jurisdictions, it came as no surprise that there is no uniformity amongst the EU jurisdictions, and each requires individual interpretations that also include a consideration of the differing cultural norms and working practices.
Although there are differences, the following summary can be applied universally:
- Try to anticipate and plan ahead;
- Recognize the working culture and expectations of staff across Europe is critical;
- Apply common sense rules that respect the rights and employees and ensure they are able to retain a healthy work life balance;
- Avoid court battles with your employees over these topics;
- Enable your staff to voice their concerns;
- Listen to raised concerns and work to avoid costly disputes; and
- Consult your legal advisors if confrontation appears likely.
If you would like a copy of Bryan Cave’s presentation, or would like to discuss France’s Right to Disconnect or any other EU jurisdiction, please contact a member of Bryan Cave’s Labor & Employment team.