Are you tired of incessant emails or work calls even after you are done for the day? Does your boss pester you with calls, emails or WhatsApp texts even after your working hours or when you are on leave?

Your face might just get impish-ed with glee while reading this!

The Right to Disconnect Bill introduced by National Congress Party (NCP) Supriya Sule allows employees to be offline after their official working hours.

This is seen as a measure to empower employees with the right to not respond to work emails, chats or calls after work hours or on holidays.

What are the Key Takeaways of Right to Disconnect Bill?

  • Employee will not be obliged to reply after work hours

  • Employee to have a right to right to reject calls, texts and emails

  • No disciplinary action will be taken against an employee

  • Company to have detailed out-of-work demands

  • Company to have a charter on post work hours

  • Companies can negotiate pre-defined time

  • Entitled to overtime wages after paid hours

  • Penalty for employers not adhering to rules

  • Non-adherence to invite penalty

  • Penalty of 1% of employees’ salary

  • Companies to lay out post work hours demands

Why it is necessary?

  • Constant monitoring of work leads to ‘info-obesity’

  • Leads to stress, burnouts & sleeplessness

  • Low productivity after fifty work hours per week

  • Right to disconnect is employee’s right

Here are some of the countries that have happily incorporated this law for the goodwill of the working class:

France

  • France introduced right to disconnect in 2017

  • ‘Khomri law’ defines post work hour rules

Italy

  • Italy incorporated Right to Disconnect in 2018

Germany

  • German companies follow ‘Right to Disconnect’

  • Volkswagen started Right to Disconnect in 2012

New York

  • ‘Right to Disconnect’ introduced in July 2018
  • No compulsion to work outside paid hours

Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder and executive vice-president at staffing firm TeamLease, said the bill should not be a top priority in a country that is in urgent need to reform labour laws. Moreover, there is no clear evidence of employees being penalised for not picking up work calls or for failing to respond to emails after work hours or on holidays. “A legislation cannot mandate a solution for this problem. Because it is saying the employer cannot act against you. The materiality of such incidents where somebody has actually been taken to task for not taking a call is something I would like to question,” she said.

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