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This new law will make us all want to move to France

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Chris Sayer
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On top of good weather, great wine, beautiful scenery and eye-wateringly pongy cheese, the lure of moving across the channel may be about to get even stronger.

President Francois Hollande and his Socialist Party may be about to implement a “right to disconnect” into French law, meaning companies of 50 people or more will need to lay out a framework of good conduct and in doing so cement the hours where staff are not allowed to send or answer emails.

That’s right – it’ll be pretty much against the law to pick up your work phone during the weekend.   

"All the studies show there is far more work-related stress today than there used to be, and that the stress is constant," Socialist MP Benoit Hamon told BBC reporter Hugh Schofield. "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 colonise the life of the individual to the point where he or she eventually breaks down."

But if fairer working hours appeal to you but the prospect of wearing a beret doesn't, then consider building a new life in America. There, a US businessman has begun to pay his workers to sleep in, encouraging them to get more kip to boost business.

Mark Bertolini, chief exec at health insurance company Aetna in Connecticut, offers staff up to $500 a year if they can prove they’ve been in the Land of Nod for seven hours or more across 20 consecutive nights. He even monitors their sleep patterns with a wireless FitBit activity tracker.

Let's just go over that one more time: he pays his team... to sleep.

But if you're British through and through, luckily there are a handful of (albeit slightly less awesome) worker-friendly companies in the UK that are happy to put their staff’s need to clock out before business targets.These generally come in the form of closing down that computer early on a Friday.

If you want those sort of perks, you’d better fire a few CVs over to Kellogg’s, which has given staff at its Manchester head office Friday afternoons off for over a decade in a bid to boost morale. The same ethos is shared by publishers Penguin Random House, who allow staff to take Friday afternoons off if they promise to work an extra 45 minutes a day from Monday to Thursday, and fashion powerhouse ASOS, who finish at 3pm on a Friday between June and August.

Alright, it's no sleep-in salary or a weekend e-mail ban, but at least you'll be first one in the beer garden for those well-earned Friday drinks. 

[via BBC]

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Chris Sayer

Chris Sayer is a freelance journalist and editor based in London. Chris has interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment and travelled the world doing an all manner of adventures for lots of brilliant magazines. He writes for Shortlist about booze but would probably prefer we let him write about fishing instead. Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisSayer00

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