can aussies ignore work calls and emails after hours
As part of a Greens push for fairer work protections, employees in Australia should be allowed to ignore work-related calls, emails, and texts once they clock off. Greens leader Adam Bandt introduced a landmark proposal to parliament on Monday that would amend certain existing laws to offer employees across the country the “right to disconnect”.
The bill, if passed, would compel employers to stop contacting their employees outside work hours and ensure employees don’t have to respond to any work-related communication, including but not limited to emails and calls, once they have logged off.
Nevertheless, the proposal allows for an exception in a couple of cases:
- If the employee could receive an availability allowance as part of their salary, or
- In case of an emergency and genuine welfare matters
“When you clock off, you should have the right to log off,” Bandt highlighted the simple principle underlying the bill in the parliament, adding the proposal doesn’t aim to limit the communication between employers and employees but will promote a healthier work culture.
The Greens leader urged the government to lend its support to the proposal and said it was about people being allowed to recharge and about work not consuming every aspect of life. “The right to disconnect is about giving workers to freedom to … focus on their personal lives,” he said.
In another interesting development, Australia’s Senate work and care committee has recommended that the country trial a four-day workweek, in an effort to improve work-life balance. The process requires employees to maintain their full productivity while working 80% of their ordinary hours. The salary remains the same despite the change.