Labour party wants right to be unreachable after work hours

The PvdA wants to give employees in the Netherlands the right to be unreachable to their boss and colleagues outside of working hours - no more answering a quick work email during dinner time, if PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher has his way, RTL Nieuws reports.

"People should have the right to be unreachable at home. After a long hard day at work it's nice to spend quality time with family or friends. That is difficult if a boss or colleague continually whispers in you ear that you still need to look at an email or receive messages" Asscher said to the broadcaster. Such a system is already in place in France - people working for companies with more than 50 employees have the right to ignore their work email outside working hours.

Asscher is concerned that people keep working long after the day is done because they feel guilty or because of pressure from their colleagues. He believes that answering messages and emails from work late into the night means that the boundaries between work and private life are increasingly blurred. This can eventually lead to an excessive workload, burnout and troubled family relationships.

The PvdA's plan states that employers with over 50 employees should consult with trade unions and works councils about their employees' accessibility outside of working hours. The party does not want to ban working from home in the evenings, but wants employees to be able to decide for themselves whether they want to do so.