Private Member’s Bill to allow employees to ignore calls after work
NCP MP Supriya Sule has introduced a Private Member’s Bill in the Lok Sabha to give employees the right to not respond to communication from employers outside of office hours. The Right to Disconnect Bill mandates companies to detail out-of-work demands “as a way to reduce stress and ease tension between an employee’s personal and professional life,” Sule said. Similar provisions have been implemented via the French Supreme Court, introduced in New York, and discussed in Germany. An Employee Welfare Authority will be set up, including IT, Communication and Labour ministers, under the Bill which was introduced on December 28. Besides publishing a study regarding the impact of digital tools beyond work hours and yearly reports, the authority is required to outline a charter outlining employee-employer negotiations. Companies with more than 10 employees would periodically negotiate specific terms with their workers, publish their own charter, and create an Employee Welfare Committee consisting of representatives of the company’s workforce, the Bill states. The Private Member’s Bill forbids disciplinary action if an employee does not reply to employers’ attempts to contact outside of the established conditions. If the employee works outside of the agreed-upon conditions, he or she is entitled to overtime, according to the Bill.