Nowadays, more and more laptops and smartphones for work are getting into the workers’ personal living spaces, but at least for Irish workers, they can escape from non-working emails and calls. “Right to disconnect” was officially recognized, and the boundaries were clarified to some extent.
The new rules give workers the right to leave their jobs altogether at the end of working hours.
Courtesy: Getty Images / iStockphoto Irish Minister of Business, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar has announced a new Code of Practice to guide the workplace of the future. The Code recognizes the right of an employee to be completely free from work upon completion of working hours previously agreed with the employer. This new norm stipulates that once a worker finishes his or her work, he or she should be freed from work and avoid starting or responding to electronic communication of all kinds of work-related matters. ing. The code has been put together in recent months at the request of Varadkar to support and promote remote work, but the guidelines apply to all types of work. “This code of practice comes into force immediately and applies to all types of employment, whether working remotely or not,” Varadkar said. “This code improves work-life balance and allows workers to forget about their work during non-business hours, regardless of the type of work.” The code states that there are three “rights to disconnect”. It has a clause. The three contents respect the right to not work on a daily basis outside normal working hours, the right not to be punished even if you refuse to witness things related to work outside working hours, and the right to disconnect from others. It is obligatory to do so (for example, do not email or call colleagues as usual outside of pre-agreed working hours). Irish workers are already protected by many labor laws. For example, Irish workers cannot work more than 48 hours a week on average, except under very limited conditions. However, the right to disconnect set forth in the new code of practice does not necessarily constitute a legal obligation. Although the recommendations of this Code are accepted as evidence in legal proceedings, non-compliance with the Code does not mean that it is a crime. Rather, this norm should be viewed as a guide for employers and employees to work together to develop appropriate working conditions. That doesn’t mean that all workers should work on a rigid schedule of 9:05. This guideline informs employers of reasonably expected normal working hours and in the event of an emergency that requires contact with staff outside of working hours (eg, for illness). It is recommended to establish a “Right to Disconnect Policy” that leaves room for (if you have to work in a hurry on behalf of a colleague).