Following France’s new legislation passed on an employee’s right to ignore work e-mails outside of office hours, there were many articles published and discussions ensued on what this means for the rest of the world, including Canada. And what does it really mean?

It means that as societies, we are in a very sorry state. France’s new legislation means that as employees and workers, people have allowed themselves to be dragged into working outside of office hours. Yes, that’s right. People have given their employers permission for working more hours by not saying “no” when employers first started intruding on hours outside of work.

So what happened to the meaning of an employee agreeing to work a 40-hour work week for their employer and no more? Don’t blame it on mobile devices. That does not hold up as a reason for employees working outside of their agreed-to work hours. The e-mail that arrived in the inbox at 6 p.m. can wait to be answered the next day at 8 or 9 a.m.

The real onus is on employees, and not government to pass legislation, for saying to their employers that enough is enough. Employees are the ones responsible for logging out of work e-mail accounts when work hours finish and only logging back in when work hours start the next day.