Soon You Will Not Have to Answer Calls from Your Boss After HoursJanuary 09, 2019 13:01
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A Private Member's Bill named 'Right to Disconnect Bill' has been introduced in the Lok Sabha by Nationalistic Congress Party Member of Parliament Supriya Sule.
The bill, largely aimed at reducing stress and ease tensions, give employees the right not to respond to communication from employers outside of office hours.
The Bill mandates companies to detail out of work demands, Sule explained.
How it Works
An Employee Welfare Authority will be set up, including Information Technology (IT), Communication and Labour ministers, under the Bill which was introduced on December 28.
A study regarding the impact of digital tools beyond work hours and yearly reports have to be published.
A charter outlining the employee-employer negotiations would have to be put out.
The Bill likewise states that companies with more than ten employees would periodically negotiate specific terms with their workers, publish their own charter. An Employee Welfare Committee comprising representatives of the company's workforce will have to be created.
The Bill forbids any disciplinary action if an employee does not reply to the employer's calls or attempts to contact after work hours. If the employee works outside the work hours as agreed upon, then he or she is entitled to overtime.
Non-adherence would lead to penalties of one percent of the total employee remuneration. The government would also have to provide employee counseling, a digital detox center in a bid to free an employee from digital distractions, thus enabling him to connect with people around him.
"Studies have found that if an employee is expected to be available round the clock, they tend to exhibit risks of over-work like sleep deprivation, developing stress and being emotionally exhausted," Sule was quoted in The Indian Express. "This persistent urge to respond to calls and e-mails (termed as 'telepressure'), constant checking of e-mails throughout the day, and even on weekends and holidays, is reported to have destroyed the work-life balance of employees."
Sule's statement also draws up research highlighting a dip in productivity after 50-hour work weeks and effects on sleep due to office calls after 9 p.m.