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Anderson introduces Bill to protect workers from out of hours texts and emails

3 June, 2021 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has introduced a Private Members Bill that will give workers statutory protections from answering emails and texts outside of working hours. 

The Foyle MLA said:

"My Private Members Bill seeks to give workers a better work life balance by establishing statutory right to disconnect. This will mean giving workers a legal right to switch off from work related emails or texts outside of office hours without facing penalty or sanction.  

"The Bill will also place an obligation on employers to engage with workers and applicable Trade Unions to establish a right to disconnect workplace policy which clarifies the working hours of the employee and how this should be compensated for if the worker is contacted outside of their normal working hours.

"My bill will also place an obligation on the Economy Minister to produce a report on the Right to Disconnect and set out a framework within which employers must implement the Right to Disconnect for their employees, within two months of the Bill being passed.

"I am currently finalising this Bill and I look forward to bringing it into the Assembly so that workers can be given clarity and protections around out of office contact and more importantly can be given a better work life balance."

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