Home World This country simply gave all workers the “right to disconnect.”

This country simply gave all workers the “right to disconnect.”


Employees in Ireland can no longer be punished for ignoring work calls, emails and other forms of communication outside the stipulated time.

Ireland has adopted a new government leadership that gives all employees a fundamental “right to resign” when they are not working.

The Irish Government Commission on Labor Relations (WRC) has published a new code of practice that gives employees the “right to be separated” from work tasks outside of normal working hours.

The instruction was introduced on April 1 and stipulates that all employees, whether they work remotely or in the office, have the right to turn off at the end of the day without having to respond to emails, calls, text messages or other work-related communications.

The Code entitles an employee not to perform ordinary work outside normal working hours; the right not to be punished for refusing to attend work outside normal working hours; and the obligation to respect another person’s right to be disconnected, for example, by not sending emails or calling during unusual business hours.

It was signed by Irish Employment Minister Tanayst (Deputy Prime Minister) and Employment Minister Leo Varadkar, who also launched a consultation on how the right of employees to request remote work could be enshrined in Irish law.

“The pandemic has changed work practices, and many of those changes will be long-lasting.” Said Varadkar.

‘While much of the impact of the pandemic has been negative, especially for those who have lost their jobs, incomes or whose businesses have been closed, it also provides an opportunity to make constant change for the better, whether it’s more work from home, more time with family.’ her or more flexible working hours ”.

Best practice for employers and employees

The right to disconnect is intended to support Ireland’s existing legislation on the rights and responsibilities of employer and employee in order to help both parties “navigate an increasingly digital and changing work landscape, which often includes remote and flexible work”.

It also aims to help employees who feel obligated to work regularly more than agreed in the employment contract.

Although the waiver of the right to disconnection is not a criminal offense, under Irish law the code of practice is allowed as evidence in court.

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In his footnote WRC leadership, CEO Liam Kelly said that the implementation of policies and procedures to protect the rights of employees are the key to ensuring that both employers and employees get the most out of the new working conditions that have emerged over the past year.

“While different working conditions may suit different employees in their business environment, the right to be able to maintain clear boundaries between work and leisure is universal,” Kelly said.

Although Ireland’s new code establishes best practices for employers, it states that employees are also responsible for holding scratches on the sand to ensure their own well-being as well as the well-being of their colleagues while taking time off work.

“Disconnection from work and work-related devices requires a joint approach of employers and employees,” Kelly said.

“While the burden of managing working time rests with the employer, individual responsibility on the part of employees is also necessary.”

Remote burnout work

Remote work is considered a success in many ways. However, prolonged bouts of work from home during the pandemic have exacerbated problems with work-life balance for those whose professional and personal lives are no longer separated by daily travel.

Other countries have also taken a step towards introducing the right to disconnect. In January, European leaders voted for the proposal which will offer similar rights across the EU.

The resolution aims to address the “always on” culture associated with telecommuting, which peaked during the pandemic and led to higher burnout rates and mental health issues among digital professionals.

WATCH: Health at work: how to support your team’s mental health (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Andrew Pakes, director of research for the UK Workers’ Union Prospect, said the rise of telecommuting technology was affecting mental health and that UK law should “evolve and keep pace with reality”. how technology has changed work practices».

Pakes told TechRepublic: “Governments around the world are waking up to this problem and taking action by enacting laws that require employers to talk to their workforce and agree on reasonable rules that allow them to disconnect from work.

“Ireland has become the last country to join this, thanks to a fantastic campaign run by Irish unions. As the employment bill is announced in the Queen’s speech, it is time for the government to listen to the evidence and introduce the UK’s right to disconnect so workers can regain a sense of separation between work and home life. ”

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