The beginning of 2017 was marked by an innovative legislation change. In January, a new law protecting employees’ right to disconnect came into force in France. It affects companies with more than 50 employees by obliging them to negotiate agreements on how to allow employees to disconnect after the end of the workday.

Following the French example, draft laws are being developed in various countries. Ideologists of such changes stress that in the modern world of 24/7 access to the Internet, people can never get out of work even after they leave their offices. They receive emails and are expected to answer them even in late evening. In most cases, this work is not additionally remunerated and significantly contributes to stress disorders.

Generally prohibiting overtime work, Ukraine does not set any restrictions on employers’ demands for employees’ availability out of working hours. In the light of the world tendencies, Ukrainian, as well as other governments, should form their position on this matter with special regard given to the balance of employees’ and business’s interests.

While such restrictions are likely to work well with blue-collar workers, there is room for discussion on how to deal with client-oriented spheres of business. In the latter case, attention to clients’ needs, including all day online availability, is a predominant factor in the success of a company. Time will show how this issue will develop, but for now, it is at employers’ discretion in most countries of the world.

Published:, 27 October 2017