PSA to Bosses in S’pore: In France, It’s Illegal for Bosses to Contact Staff After Work Hours

Last Updated on 2022-11-11 , 11:28 am

I guess this will be familiar to many working adults: at 8:00 p.m., after a hectic day in work, you’re having dinner with your family in a restaurant when you receive an email from your boss: “X Client is having some issues with his system. Could you call him and rectify it by tonight?”

Yeah, it’s a polite message, but it means you’ll most likely have to rush back to the office, or even to the client’s office—when you should be having some quality family time.

This isn’t uncommon, but what if…what if you could just reply this: “Boss, it’s illegal for you to contact me now.”

In France, It’s Illegal for Bosses to Contact Staff After Work Hours

Apparently, in France, a law has been passed that makes it illegal for employers to email employees after work hours. Called “The Right to Disconnect”, employers are not allowed to contact employees after working hours.

But there’s a catch: This is only applicable to companies with more than 50 employees.

Benoit Hamon of the French National Assembly said, “All the studies show there is far more work-related stress today than there used to be, and that the stress is constant. 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.”

But surprisingly, not all people are happy with this, though.

In a BCC report, several people interviewed thought that it won’t be a good idea. A sales manager said that she liked doing sales after office hours, while a software writer has this to say: “In my company we compete with Indian, Chinese, American developers. We need to talk to people around the world late into the night.”

In Singapore, we of course don’t have this luxury. While it sounds good, the repercussions could be severe—a drastic drop in productivity and of course competitiveness will lead to companies downsizing, and therefore causing more people to lose their jobs.

What do you think? Do you think there should be such a law in our competitive Singapore?