German federal minister of labour and social affairs Andrea Nahles has commissioned a report on workplace stress with the prospect of introducing an "anti-stress" law. The legislation would ban companies from contacting employees out of office hours, building on already-existing laws in Germany that make it illegal for employees to be contacted during holidays.
In an interview with the Rheinische Post, (opens in new tab) Nahles said: "There is an undeniable relationship between constant availability and the increase of mental illness. We have commissioned the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to work out whether it is possible to set load thresholds. We need universal and legally binding criteria."
Prior to the proposed legislation several large Germany companies have already implemented their own policies that restrict employee contact out of hours. In a rather spectacular example, automotive manufacturer Daimler installed software that automatically deletes email sent out of office hours.
It's likely the move is a response to the proliferation of smartphones in office workers lives and the pressure of being constantly connected to work. We ran a survey (opens in new tab) earlier this year and 52 per cent of you reported suffering from "Infobesity," an over-consumption of data causing stress and a lack of job satisfaction.
Would you welcome similar legislation? Let us know in the comments section below.