Should there be a law banning business emails after work?

A proposed French amendment aims to restrict digital missives outside working hours, but it remains to be seen whether that would improve work/life balance or inflict more stress.

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Summer has unofficially arrived.

The air is warmer, the days are longer, and the last thing many of us want to think about while spending a Sunday dozing in a hammock is answering work email.

Though many employees don’t check their inboxes on weekends or holidays, there are plenty who do. Either way, is it the government’s responsibility to prevent work from spilling into employees’ personal lives?

This issue is sparking hot debate in light of an amendment making its way through the French legislative system. The amendment, tucked inside a labor reform bill, encourages organizations to draft policies that help employees disconnect from the workplace, such as specifying which hours employees should not receive nor be required to answer emails. There would be no penalty for violating the law; organizations are expected to voluntarily comply.

“All the studies show there is far more work-related stress today than there used to be, and that the stress is constant,” Benoit Hamon, a member of the French parliament, told the BBC.

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