As workers are increasingly connected, including outside normal working hours, blurring the line between work and home life, the legislator has introduced articles 15 to 17 of the Act of 26 March 2018 regarding the strengthening of economic growth and social cohesion. These articles require consultation with the prevention and protection committee ("PPC") about disconnection and using digital communication.
These provisions encourage employers to consult employees and maybe draft bespoke agreements on the use of digital work tools (such as laptops, smartphones and tablets). This is not a "right to disconnect", as in France, but companies will have the freedom to adopt similar measures.
The law provides that, to ensure rest periods, annual leave and other holidays are respected and to preserve work–life balance, an employer must consult with the PPC at regular intervals and whenever the PPC employee representatives so request. The consultation will focus on disconnecting from work and using digital means of communication.
No fixed frequency has been imposed. In parlementary works, though, this item should be on the PPC agenda whenever there are significant changes in the business relating to digital communication or affecting work–life balance.
The agreements arising from the consultation can be incorporated into the work regulations or in a collective labour agreement.
These new provisions apply from 9 April 2018.