The Workplace Relations Commission published a Code of Practice to give guidance on best practice to employers and employees on the right to disconnect.The Code applies to all types of employment, whether the employee is working remotely, in a fixed location, at home or is mobile. While the Code is not legally binding on employers, it is admissible as evidence before a Court, Labour Court or the WRC.
- The Right to Disconnect has 3 main elements as follows:
- The right of an employee to not routinely perform work outside normal working hours
- The right not to be penalised for refusing to attend to work matters outside of normal working hours, and
- The duty to respect another person’s right to disconnect (e.g. by not routinely emailing or calling outside normal working hours).
The Code highlights various obligations for both employers (e.g. providing employees with details of their working hours, ensuring employees take rest breaks, providing a safe place of work, not penalising employees for acting in compliance with any legislation) and employees (e.g. managing their working time, cooperate with any system used by the employer to record working hours, be mindful of colleagues and customer’s right to disconnect, notifying their employer where they were unable to avail of a rest break and the reason for same, etc.).