Have you ever said to yourself, "I'm going to relax, but my boss just emailed, and I need to get back to work?" A disconnect law has been enacted in Canada, as well as in a number of European nations.
The Ontario government has mandated that firms with 25 or more employees develop a right-to-disconnect policy.
According to an October news release, these right-to-disconnect regulations might include "expectations concerning email response time and encouraging staff to switch on out-of-office messages when they aren't working."
"By passing this legislation, Ontario ensures that our labor laws keep pace with the acceleration of new technology, automation, and remote work," said Monte McNaughton, the province's minister of labor, training, and skills development, in a separate news statement. "We are defending workers' rights while presenting Ontario as the premier destination for global talent and investment."
At the federal level, the Liberal Party of Canada vowed during its re-election campaign this summer that it will collaborate with federally regulated companies and labor groups to co-develop a right-to-disconnect policy for workers. Earlier this year, the federal labor minister stated that the coronavirus outbreak underscored the importance of providing employees with the flexibility to ignore work emails and text messages as the borders between personal and professional life blur.
Portugal recently ignited discussion with its new working-from-home regulation, which prohibits businesses from seeking to contact their employees outside of working hours. They must also assist employees in paying their home gas, electric, and internet bills. Furthermore, supervisors are not permitted to use digital tools to track what their teleworkers are doing. Critics of the bill have raised several concerns regarding how the law will be implemented and enforced.
Many additional European Union nations, including Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, have implemented right-to-disconnect laws in recent years. The rise in remote working was already on the rise when the pandemic accelerated the trend, prompting provincial and federal governments in Canada to take a closer look at the right-to-disconnect notion.
"I view this as a possible storm building in labor, and so these converging trends are happening now, and they're growing quicker, more prominent," Filomena Tassi, the federal labor minister at the time, said this spring.
So, now that it is the law, you may go home and switch off your email because you no longer need to answer. You have the right to live a balanced life.