Right to Disconnect Bill: No Compulsion to Reply on Work Call or Email, Proposes Supriya Sule
File image of employees | (Photo Credits: PTI)

New Delhi, January 10: Are you tired of responding to calls and emails after office hours? If yes, then NCP MP Supriya Sule has a solution for this employees-related issue. Supriya Sule, who represents Baramati constituency in Lok Sabha, has introduced a Private Member’s Bill - Right to Disconnect Bill 2018 - which gives employees the right to not respond to communication from employers outside of office hours.

The Right to Disconnect Bill 2018 says "very employee shall have the right to disconnect out of work hours". It forbids disciplinary action if an employee does not reply to employers' call or email after his/her shift ends. The Bill says an employee is entitled to overtime if he/she works outside of the agreed-upon conditions. It also seeks to impose a penalty of one per cent of the total employees' remuneration on the company that violates the rules.

The Bill seeks to establish an Employees' Welfare Authority with Minister of State, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology as its Chairperson ex-officio and the Minister of State, Ministry of Communication and Ministry of Labour and Employment as the Vice-Chairmen ex-officio. It also proposes constitution of Employees' Welfare Committees at every company to assist the employees in such negotiations. Quota Bill Sanctioning 10% Reservation For Economically Weaker Sections Of Upper Castes Passed in Rajya Sabha.

The Right to Disconnect Bill 2018, which was first introduced on December 28 last year, seeks to recognise the right "as a way to reduce stress and ease tension between an employees personal and professional life". It cites a study conducted by Stanford University which found that working fifty hours or more in a week made employees less productive.

"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 work-life balance of employees," Sule told a leading daily. "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," she added.