NCP MP Supriya Sule is giving us new goals for 2019. On the last day of the winter session of Parliament, Sule introduced the Right To Disconnect Bill in Lok Sabha. The Private Members’ Bill states that employees should have the right to not answer work calls or emails after office hours or on holidays.
The Bill was introduced on the last day of the winter session. According to reports, it is likely to lapse owing to the upcoming general elections.
This Bill aims to “establish an Employees’ Welfare Authority to confer the right on every employee to disconnect from work-related telephone calls and emails beyond work hours and on holidays and right to refuse to answer calls and emails outside work hours and for all matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”
What does the Right To Disconnect Bill Say?
According to the Bill, an employer can call or send emails after hours but an employee can choose not to reply. If such a call or email goes unacknowledged, the Bill says, the employee in question will not face any disciplinary action.
Another welcome suggestion in this Bill is extra wages for working after hours. Every millennial will testify to the fact that they have been made to work overtime without any compensation. This Bill aims to remedy that by stating that if an employee is working beyond agreed-upon hours, they will be entitled to overtime pay.
The Bill provides for an Employee Welfare Authority to be set up which will give an outline for negotiations between employees and employers. According to an Indian Express report, “Companies with more than 10 employees would periodically negotiate specific terms with their workers, publish their own charter, and create an Employee Welfare Committee consisting of representatives of the company’s workforce.”
The aim of this Bill is to “reduce stress and ease tension between an employee’s personal and professional life,” according to MP Supriya Sule. This sounds like a welcome relief for everyone who struggles to achieve an ideal work-life balance. Such a law should get the support of the entire workforce. It definitely has ours.