UK govt urged to ban bosses from emailing & calling workers after office hours

Such a law has been in place in France since 2017.

Andrew Koay | June 03, 2021, 04:22 PM

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A trade union in the United Kingdom is calling for the government to write employees' "right to disconnect" into law.

According to the BBC, the union, Prospect, wants the law to bar employers from calling their subordinates outside of set working hours.

Any emails sent after hours could also be automatically deleted to deter employees from continually checking their inboxes.

Prospect's deputy general secretary Andrew Pakes told the BBC that work from home arrangements had made it "harder to fully switch off".

"While digital technology has kept us safe during the pandemic, for millions of people, working from home has felt more like sleeping in the office," he said.

Since the official advice in the UK has been for people to work from home wherever possible, the government has established a Flexible Working Taskforce to investigate how hybrid arrangements for work will look like after the pandemic subsides.

According to the BBC, this includes looking at the right to disconnect.

France guarantees right to disconnect for workers

Such a law has been in place in France since 2017.

Companies with more than 50 workers are required to guarantee employees that work emails will not infringe on their off days, evenings, and weekends, reported Time.

Writing for CNA, Rashimah Rajah — a lecturer from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School — said that in Singapore, workers who were forced to log-in remotely from home suffered in terms of their mental health and personal well-being.

For some people involved in a study conducted by Rashimah, having a hard cut-off time signalling the end of the work day gave them the freedom to fully enjoy family and social activities.

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Top image from Charles Deluvio via Unsplash