Soon employees may be able to reject official calls beyond office hours

The Right to Disconnect Bill aims to help employees reduce stress and balance professional and personal life.

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Calls from the workplace or superiors beyond office hours are a bane and lead to huge stress and mental agony for the concerned employees. But if the Right to Disconnect Bill, a private member bill presented by Member of Parliament (MP) Supriya Sule is approved, employees will be able to exercise the right to refuse official calls beyond work hours.

The MP took note of the fact that ‘telepressure’ (which is the pressure to respond to calls and e-mails), and being on e-mails consistently throughout the day, and sometimes even on weekends and holidays, tends to have an adverse effect on the work-life balance of employees.

Employees’ productivity is also affected due to long working hours and lack of sleep and work overload.

According to the Bill, companies with over ten employees will have to negotiate the terms and conditions with their workers, bring out their own charter and also create an Employee Welfare Committee comprising representatives from the Company’s workforce.

No company can take any action against employees who do not receive official calls or refuse to take work-related calls beyond what is stated in the accepted charter. Employees will be allowed to work overtime only if they have agreed to do so, over and above the conditions stated in the charter.

The Bill also states that the Government will have to establish digital detox centres, counselling centres and other resources to ensure that employees are able to connect with the people around them.

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