30 January 2017

Should This Law The "Right to Disconnect" Be Implemented?

With the advent of the modern digital technology, we can connect ourselves to the world through social media and more latest high-tech devices making it more advantageous and more successful in doing businesses and work.

disconnect plug
[ Image: Pixabay]
Additional, these technologies give us the efficiency and simpler work than for the past centuries. However, there is a NORM (The "always-on" work culture) especially in the third world countries where employees tend to work extended to their regular working hours, which resulted in emotional state problems.

How would you feel if your insensitive boss keeps on calling you even after hours of work?

Although doing overtime jobs will increase productivity and income, the employees, on the other hand, will have the adverse effects both emotional and physical, says to research.

According to the new study, "Exhausted But Unable to Disconnect,"  authored by Liuba Belkin of Lehigh University, William Becker of Virginia Tech and Samantha A. Conroy of Colorado State University, shows how stressful the time spent on work answering emails resulted in employees to be well-drained. It also found out the negative impact on the employees' emotional state, leading to a "burnout" or "drained" that hinders work-family balance, which is essential for individual health and well-being. {source}

“What we find is that people who feel they have to respond to emails on their off hours become emotionally exhausted, partially because they can’t detach from work,” said Conroy, assistant professor of Management at CSU’s College of Business. “They are not able to separate from work when they go home, which is when they are supposed to be recovering their resources.”
In the Philippines, there is a proposed house bill which introduced by Rep. Winston "Winnie" Castelo, who also urged President Rodrigo R. Duterte to declare January 30, 2017, to be a special non-working holiday, granting employees the "RIGHT TO DISCONNECT" from WORK Related after WORKING HOURS as amending to the existing Presidential Decree 442 or also known as "Labor Code of the Philippines."

Pretty sure, you have these people(bosses) who keep on calling their subordinates even after working hours, be it work-related or worse for personal advantages.

In the said bill, it will amend the Section 1: Article 84 of Presidential Decree 442 as follows,
[Original]
Article 84. Hours worked. Hours worked shall include (a) all time during which an employee is required to be on duty or to be at a prescribed workplace, and (b) all time during which an employee is suffered or permitted to work. Rest periods of short duration during working hours shall be counted as hours worked.


[Propose]

Article 84. Hours worked. Hours worked shall include (a) all time during which an employee is required to be on duty or to be at a prescribed workplace, and (b) all time during which an employee is suffered or permitted to work, INCLUDING THE TIME SPENT READING AND RESPONDING TO WORK-RELATED COMMUNICATIONS SENT THROUGH ELECTRONIC MEANS, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO E-MAIL, SHORT MESSAGINGSERVICE (SMS), AND MOBILE PHONE CALLS, AFTER WORKING HOURS. Rest periods of short duration during working hours shall be counted as hours worked.

Additionally, its Section 2 shall insert a NEW Article 84-A which read as follows: [Propose]

"ARTICLE 84-A. RIGHT TO DISCONNECT -- An Employee shall NOT be reprimanded, punished, or otherwise subjected to disciplinary action if he or she disregards a work-related communication sent after work hours, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy to be established by the employer as required in Article 84-B hereof."

"ARTICLE 84-B. POLICY ON AFTER-HOURS USE OF TECHNOLOGY -- It shall be the DUTY of every employer to establish the hours when employees are not supposed to send or answer work-related e-mails, texts, or calls. The Employer shall determine the conditions and exemptions therefrom, subject to such rules and regulations as the secretary of labor and employment may provide.

THOUGHTS
In France, they already implemented the law giving employees the "right to disconnect".  The country aims to tackle the problem of the so-called "always-on" work culture by giving employees the "right to disconnect."

While the proposed bill of Castelo had some positive points especially the issue of well-being, however, it should also be noted that not all of it may apply to some employers — it may apply to customers too (if you give your cell number, though). In some cases, there are still advantages to taking that call, email, or text from your boss just in case emergencies even if it is work-related.

Sources: [ TNW] [Congress.gov.ph] [Colostate.edu]

What are your thoughts about this proposed bill "Right to disconnect"? Do you have ideas, suggestions, and comments, feel free to comment below!
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