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Government considers law on ‘right to disconnect’

19 Aug 2019 / employment Print

Government considers law on ‘right to disconnect’

The Government is considering giving legal backing to the right to switch off from work emails.

In 2017, France introduced regulations that set out hours when staff should not read or answer emails.

Business Minister Heather Humphreys is now looking at similar legislation.

Digitisation

The Irish Government is weighing the changes in light of the increased digitisation of the Irish workforce. It is considering introducing clearly-defined rules on when staff should log on and off work email accounts.

Responding to a parliamentary question, Minister Humphreys said: “As part of their work programme, I will ask the Interdepartmental Steering Group to examine the French approach referenced by the deputy.

“Given the increasing digitalisation of the workforce, I believe it is important from a work-life balance perspective that there are clearly defined guidelines regarding workers’ rights to switch off after office hours”.

Benefits

The French regulations give “tangible benefits for employees including improving their work-life balance”.

“It also provides solutions for those who would otherwise take unpaid parental leave but cannot afford to do so,” she said.

EU law already states that workers are entitled to an 11-hour continuous break from their work demands.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland