What Is Right To Disconnect And Should It Be Made Law?

A growing movement, called ‘right to disconnect’ is urging employers to respect a worker’s right to their own downtime and unplug the communication devices after their work day is done. It’s gained momentum in some European countries and just recently here in Australia where Victoria Police and Queensland teachers successfully lobbied for the right to disconnect to be put in their contracts.

Despite these developments, staggering new research by the Australia Institute indicates that the average Australian is working 6 weeks unpaid overtime per year. An alarming consequence of the mobile phone and internet age which gives rise to the notion that we are always on, always available, 24/7.

We spoke with a Queensland teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, about dealing with the fact that students, parents and staff have an email address they can reach out to her on at all hours of the day.

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“Everyone wants to tell you immediately how they feel, what they’re thinking, all of those things and your phone is constantly going off, whether that be with emails, Teams messages, all of those things.”

Anonymous Queensland teacher

We’re also joined by Greens Senator Barbara Pocock who before being elected earlier this year was working at the University of South Australia and wrote several books on work/life balance.

Take a listen below: