Should Everyone Have The “Right To Disconnect”?

Should your boss be able to make you take a call or respond to an email outside of work hours? That’s what’s on the table in Canberra this week. 

The federal government is seeking to get its next round of industrial relations laws through, including a definition of casual work and minimum standards for gig workers like Uber drivers and delivery drivers.

But one of the most contentious issues is the so-called “right to disconnect”. 

The Greens are pushing for laws that will make it unlawful for your boss to insist you be available to take a call or respond to an email. 

It would mean workers could ignore emails, texts and calls from their jobs if they come outside of their work hours. If employers insisted on them being available – they would have to pay them.

Like most policy shifts – there’s division among stakeholders 

Some argue there’s no need to legislate them, others say our use of smartphones means work has seeped into our home lives and these laws are necessary, and some Independent senators, including David Pocock and Jacqui Lambie, hold reservations about the reforms.

Subscribe to The Briefing, Australia’s fastest-growing news podcast on LiSTNR today. The Briefing serves up the latest news headlines and a deep dive into a topic affecting you. All in under 20 minutes.