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Unplugged: French say Non! to after-hours work calls

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Work cellphones won’t be ringing in the middle of the night for more than a million  workers in France’s consulting and tech industries, thanks to a pact negotiated by two of the country’s largest white-collar trade unions.

Company-issued cellphones and tablets must be turned off at 6 p.m. and can’t be fired up until the next morning under terms of the deal  worked out between the unions and a consortium of companies such as Google, Facebook, Deloitte and PwC. According to French news reports, some off-hours emails will be allowed, but only in emergencies.

The French aren’t alone in wanting employees to disconnect when they leave work at the end of the day. Two years ago, Germany’s Volkswagen Group and Deutsche Telekom instituted policies that shut down email servers a half-hour after quitting time.

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