OPINYON: Respect workers’ right to disconnect

With the growing number of workers working remotely or away from the workplace or working at home, there is also a growing need for employers to respect the right of workers to disconnect from work-related calls, e-mails, texts, or chats.

Sa mga feedback na natanggap ko, halos wala na raw boundary separating work-related tasks and personal and family-related responsibilities. Dahil dito, marami ang nalulunod sa stress lalo na kung nagsasabay-sabay ang demand.

Maraming mga boss ang tila hindi conscious an walong oras lang ang working hours. O kaya naman, kahit alam naman nila ang working hours o working days ng kanilang mga empleyado pero dahil hindi naman nagrereklamo o wala naman nagpapaalala sa kanya eh di okey lang.

Workers have the right to disconnect from all work-related communications and refuse to answer calls, texts or emails without being punished for it.

Employees who disconnect after work hours are not misconduct. Hindi rin ito disobedience o insubordination. And should not be a reason for demotion, disciplinary action or termination.

There is no law in the Philippines that promotes the right to disconnect. However, there is a “Right to Disconnect” bill pending in the House of Representatives.

The right to disconnect was upheld by French Supreme Court in 2001 and affirmed in 2004 after finding out that an employee’s failure to answer his work phone beyond his work hours was not a valid reason to fire him. This decision was adopted by the French labor code in 2017 telling employers to stop encroaching into their employees’ personal and family lives after work hours.

What do you think? Post mo naman experience mo sa comment section below.

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