The new regulation in the Code du travail applies to companies with more than 50 employees and is part of larger reforms in the French employment market: Since January 1, 2017, affected employee's are entitled to switch off their smartphones outside of working hours. That makes France the first country in the world to legally implement such a regulation. The particulars, however, remain between the employer and the employee. So far, no sanctions are provided in case of failure to comply.
The law is expected to rekindle the discussion about the changing working realities in Germany, too. Some companies, among them Volkswagen, have already implemented similar regulations on a voluntary basis. On the other hand, many employers and employees are seeking more flexible regulations regarding working hours, which should be difficult to align with fixed email-free periods.