The Lawyer’s Daily features Molly Reynolds on France’s “Right to Disconnect” Law

April 13, 2017

In an effort to improve the balance between work and life in the digital age, France recently enacted a law that would ban work emails after the office shuts down for the day. France’s decision calls into question the current laws mitigating the well-being of workers, their personal life and the workplace. The right to disconnect has not been specifically addressed in Canadian legislation meaning if the right to disconnect were to be adopted beyond France it would require employers to, at the very least, review their current policies to determine details, such as what constitutes working overtime past the office’s closing hours and how to enforce the law. The Lawyer’s Daily featured senior associate Molly Reynolds, an expert in privacy litigation, as to what the law means in Canada, highlighting key issues prompted by France’s decision. Below is an excerpt from the article.

At the very least, said Molly Reynolds, a senior associate with Torys LLP in Toronto, “It would be an unwieldy piece of legislation that would be difficult to enforce. “By the time the law was in place,” she added, “the technology would have changed.”...

Reynolds pointed out that legislating the right to disconnect could have unintended and unfortunate consequences. “The law could actually be a disincentive for some companies to offer a flexible work arrangement.”...

It is important to understand why France enacted such a controversial and seemingly unenforceable law and why it has generated an international response. “There is an underlying concern that workers, especially vulnerable workers, are being taken advantage of,” explained Reynolds. 

Read the full article by downloading the PDF here.

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