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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.

Global Examples

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.

Month: Categories: Bills and ActsUPSC Current Affairs - 2019

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Henley Passport Index

The Henley Passport Index measures the access each country’s travel document affords. The Index is based on the data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.

Ranking of the Jurisdictions

The Rankings of the jurisdictions based on the rankings in the Henley Passport Index are:

  • Japan retained its top spot as the world’s most travel-friendly passport due to the document’s access to 190 jurisdictions.
  • South Korea and Singapore are at joint second position offering access to 189 jurisdictions.
  • China has jumped almost 20 places in just two years, from 85th in 2017 to 69th this year.
  • India jumped two positions from 81st in 2018 to 79th this year.
  • European Union member states along with Norway and the US occupy the places behind the top three nations in the rankings.
  • The rankings of the USA and UK have continued to drop.
  • The top 5 positions are held by Japan (190 countries), Singapore, South Korea (189), France, Germany (188), Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden (187), and Luxembourg, Spain (186)
  • The bottom 5 positions are held by Eritrea (38), Yemen (37), Pakistan (33), Somalia, Syria (32)and Afghanistan, Iraq (30).

Observations

Christian Kalin, Chairman of the Henley & Partners’ Group who is also the creator of the index notes that the ranking is a bright spot in an increasingly isolationist world.

Open-door policies have the potential to contribute billions to the global economy, as well as create significant employment opportunities around the world. The ascent in the rankings of South Korea and the United Arab Emirates are examples of what happens when countries take a proactive foreign affairs approach, an attitude which significantly benefits their citizens as well as the international community.

Month: Categories: International Current Affairs 2018UPSC Current Affairs - 2019

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