Bosses will not be able to contact their staff by phone, WhatsApp or email outside working hours under a Labor government, according to plans expected to be in the party’s general election manifesto.
The proposal by Vice President Angela Rayner, who is also Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work, comes as many workers they are inundated with messages during their evenings, weekends and holidays.
She told the Financial Times that “constant emails and calls outside of work should not be the norm and are damaging the work-life balance for many.”
Rayner acknowledged that there will be times when contact is needed, such as with workers who are on call or working overtime: “We will see how to implement this in practice, we will learn from countries where it has been introduced successfully,” he said. saying.
The so-called “right to disconnect” would echo legislation in France, where since 2017 all staff have the right to disconnect from phones and laptops outside of working hours.
In 2018, a worker at the French arm of Rentokil, the British pest control company, was paid €60,000 after the company failed to respect his right to disconnect. Other countries, including Italy, Spain and Portugal, have followed France’s lead.
Belgium last month began requiring all employers with more than 20 employees to introduce a company policy, while the Scottish government agreed a similar deal with unions representing civil servants.
However, the legislation will not necessarily help those who feel pressured to log in after hours to meet deadlines. Jon Boys, CIPD economist for HR professionals. they take those higher positions.”
from work The policies have come under increasing scrutiny since the party led opinion polls ahead of a general election scheduled for next year. The policies are part of a broader package of labor reforms, dubbed the “New Deal for Workers,” which gives workers greater rights.
One of the biggest changes would be a ban on controversial “zero-hour contracts” and a ban on the practice of “fire and rehire,” in which companies fire an employee and then rehire them in worse conditions. terms and Conditions.
Other proposals include providing flexible work where there is no reason a job cannot be done with variable hours or remotely.
The Conservative party promised to make flexible working the “default” in its 2019 manifesto, but has shelved that proposal. Instead, it is using secondary legislation to give workers the “right to request“Flexible work.
The Institute of Directors said it welcomed the government’s plan to give workers the “right to request” flexible work, but acknowledged that enforcing flexible work would be “problematic” for some employers.
The job would also grant sick and vacation pay rights from the first day of employment and give workers protection against wrongful termination. Currently, employees can generally only challenge a termination if they’ve been with their employer for two years, and people with lower incomes don’t qualify for statutory sick pay.
The job would also give workers the right to negotiate “fair wage deals” through sectoral collective bargaining. This is a critical demand from the unions, although business groups have opposed similar arrangements recently introduced in Australia and New Zealand.
The New Deal for Working People is part of a draft manifesto, most of which will be signed over the summer by the party’s “national policy forum.”