Right to Disconnect Bill introduced in Lok Sabha
A private members bill, Right to Disconnect Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha by MP Supriya Sule.
Features of the Bill
The important features of the bill are:
- The bill empowers the employee with the right to not respond to employers’ calls, texts or emails after office hours.
- The bill aims to reduce work-related stress and strive for a better work-life balance.
- The bill applies to companies with more than 10 employees.
- Such companies are required to set up an Employee Welfare Committee to ensure compliance.
- The bill stipulates that no disciplinary action can be taken against you if you choose to not respond to your employer after your stipulated work hours.
Some measures have been already taken in empowering the employees with Right to disconnect. For Example:
- France has already provided Right to disconnect since 2017 in companies with more than 50 employees with an aim to re-build the boundary between professional and personal life.
- Even Spain has a similar law which provides Right to Disconnect without any minimum employee criterion.
- German automobile maker Daimler had taken this bold step of introducing software that automatically deletes any emails you get while on vacation, back in 2014.
What is the Importance to Right to Disconnect?
Studies found that the need to be available 24X7 was adversely affecting the workers, even if workers weren’t actively checking work emails after hours, they can still be harmed by the expectation that they should be available. This work culture was creating anxiety amongst workers.
Studies also showed that workers who answered work-related emails after 9pm had worse quality of sleep. Hence a campaign had gained ground demanding Right to Disconnect.