The German Employment Minister, Andrea Nahles, has commissioned for a report to be made into the viability of creating what is being called the ‘anti-stress law’ to be enforced throughout Germany.
Burnout is a big issue in Germany, one of Europes leading economies, with people being unable to switch off and de-stress after a day at work. The advent of communication technology particularly smartphones, is causing people to spend much of their waking hours looged onto the online world.
This can grate at peoples’ minds, and in extreme cases cause stress and anxiety, which can lead to mental illnesses.
“There is an undeniable relationship between having to be constantly available and the rise in mental illness,’ Ms Nahles has been reported commenting.
She does, however, understand that her proposed law may be hard to implement.
In order to combat this constantly “switched on” pandemic, she proposed to make it illegal for places of employment to contact the employees outside of working hours, be it by email, text, or phone.
It is already illegal in Germany for employees to work while on holiday, including simply replying to emails. Taking it one step further however, should help to reduce the effects of stress on the population even more.
Of course, there will be limitations with any law that works along these lines, such as receiving international business emails, but the fact that there is now pressure to work towards it is good.
The law isn’t iminent, as Ms. Nahles has only commissioned a report to see whether it could actually be achieved. If it is, then other western countries could begin to follow Germany’s example and start to fight against stress related illnesses.