Bill in the works to put an end to pesky ‘after-office’ calls, e-mails

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on July 10, 2019

The Bill aims to free an employee from digital distractions and enable him to truly connect with the people around him

If Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Supriya Sule succeeds in her effort to revive the Right To Disconnect Bill and get it passed in the Lok Sabha, employees will soon be able to disconnect from work-related telephone calls and e-mails beyond work hours and on holidays, and refuse to answer calls and respond to e-mails outside work hours.

This is not the first time that Sule is trying to push the Bill. In November 2018, she introduced the private member Bill in Lok Sabha but it lapsed with the end of tenure of the previous House.

Sule now wants to take it up once again with the help of members cutting across party lines. The Bill proposes to establish the Employees’ Welfare Authority, which will protect employees’ right to disconnect. Sule said that that she was getting massive support from people across the country and their voice will find resonance in Lok Sabha.

“I started a private member’s Bill in the previous Lok Sabha. I have decided to revive it, ” said Sule in a social media message.

‘Digital detox centres’

The Bill aims to free an employee from digital distractions and enable him to truly connect with the people around him. The Bill provides for digital detox centres and seeks to recognise the right to disconnect as a way to reduce stress by drawing a line between an employee’s personal and professional lives.

The draft of the earlier Bill mentioned that with the advent of digital and communication technology, an average worker can work from anywhere, thanks to smart phones.

“According to the report released by the World Economic Forum, the proportion of mobile workers who could work from any location is expected to rise beyond 70 per cent. While this has benefits in terms of work flexibility, it also carries significant risk of erosion of boundaries between professional and personal life,” the Bill said.

The online petition started by Sule to push the Bill has received support from over one lakh people. “I want to have a balanced life and give time to my family” said Jaishree Patil from Mumbai who supported the online petition.

Published on July 10, 2019

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