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The ‘Right to Disconnect’

Ahead of the 2024 general election, the Labour Party has hinted at the inclusion of a ‘right to disconnect’ within their manifesto which, if implemented, would limit employers from contacting workers outside of their working hours. The proposal is one of several reforms devised to protect workers and will likely be included in Labour’s “new deal for working people”.

The idea of ‘switching off’ from work is not a new one and would echo the law in countries such as France, Italy and Spain who offer the right to all workers. The latest European country to follow suite was Belgium, with all employers with more than 20 staff now required to introduce a ‘right to disconnect’ company policy.

Leaving aside the potential burden of such a new law to employers, adversaries to the concept are concerned that implementation will only serve to increase the substantial backlog of tribunal cases given that it would  be enforced through the employment tribunals.