ADVERTISEMENT

PARIS (AP) French IT staff at Google, Facebook and other companies have won new protections against burnout: the right to unplug.

A new agreement with employers gives upwards of 300,000 tech-sector workers added guarantees that the "always connected" lifestyle enabled by smartphones won't infringe on their rights under France's famous 35-hour workweek.

Union official Michel de la Force told the Associated Press the deal doesn't mean staff will be forced to turn off their phones at 6 p.m., as some media have reported. "They haven't read the agreement," De la Force said.

The deal gives workers at risk of burnout a right to disconnect, but doesn't change their working hours. The deal also only covers workers, like consultants, who already have flexible schedules, not employees on fixed shifts.