Is there a Right to Disconnect? - Deepstash
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De-escalate Office Tension

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Is there a Right to Disconnect?

Is there a Right to Disconnect?

The after-hours unwanted struggles of a salaried employee in 21 Century.

Every one of us has received that one annoying email on a day off that we dreaded opening. With the advent of technology and the transition of our workplace from brick and mortar structure to that little corner in our house, there is no clear defining line where work ends. For a long time, many have let those after-hours communications slide but major changes are coming to ensure the grunts of your boss don’t reach your home, well at least not after hours.


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What's happening?

What's happening?

All around the world, disgruntled employees have made it very clear that they do not wish to receive any work-related communication post-work. Governments are trying to table laws to please the common populace while employers have already either started falling in line or are working around the clock to circumvent the proposed changes by using diverse interpretations of the legal words.

How does it concern you?

If you are an employee and your workplace values you and your mental wellbeing, they should already have a written policy. Even if you are an employer then the reasons are same.


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What’s happening across the globe?

What’s happening across the globe?

The new laws/policies, commonly referred to as the Right to Disconnect are been drafted but their implementation has been largely limited to countries in the European Union and a few South American nations. In some countries, especially in Europe, the right to disconnect is somehow incorporated into the law, but it may also be included in the policies of many large corporations.

Many countries have tabled and passed bills of similar nature like Chile, Peru, and Canada (Ontario’s Bill 27), whereas others are struggling to pass the draft beyond the committee levels like the City of New York.


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What is not clear:

What is not clear:

  • If companies cannot negotiate an agreement with employees on the use of information and communications technology, they are required to adopt an employer-created “charter”.
  • It is not made with the new Hybrid & WFH (work from home) routines and is centred around the traditional workday.
  • It can not be applied feasibly to sectors where a routine workday can not be defined like healthcare workers.
  • These policies may make employers take a strict line with employees forcing them to take time off to attend to personal matters during work hours and work later without overtime pay.


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What's Not Clear:

What's Not Clear:

  • The act of contacting an employee in case of emergency can not accurately be defined as to what is considered an emergency and under what context would it be compensated.

While the laws are surely a step in the right direction and aspirational, it doesn’t clearly differentiate between different job types, and sectors. It is open to interpretation and the possibility of future amendments. Further research on this ever-changing job market is required to implement future amends and provide employees with a healthy balance so they can exercise their right to rest, and privacy.


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The after-hours unwanted struggles of a salaried employee in 21 Century.


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