Workers should have legal right not to answer work calls after hours: PvdA
Left wing political party PvdA is pushing for new legislation that would grant people enhanced rights to disconnect from work outside of their scheduled hours. The party is set to submit an amendment to the law on Thursday despite receiving criticism from the Council of State which finds such a change to be unnecessary, ANP reported.
According to the party MP Gijs van Dijk, the coronavirus pandemic has only made the need for such a law greater. PvdA suggested that the law could be implemented from January 1.
Van Dijk explained that the pandemic and home office working regimes have critically endangered work-life balance. Many Dutch people have recently “answered mail in the evening because they had to help the children with schoolwork during the day. The division between work and private life has become increasingly blurred,“ he stated.
“After work you deserve the chance to clear your head and pay attention to the really important things in life. And I think your boss should no longer require you to respond to emails, phone calls or messages,“ Van Dijk concluded.
According to the Council of State, the current Working Conditions Act already includes language about “psychosocial workload,“ ANP reported. The existing law provides frameworks within which employers and employees have been given the opportunity to make agreements about workload, including that outside of working hours.
The idea behind this is that the rules are better complied with by those involved and that the employers and employees are “themselves responsible for drawing up and implementing them“, the Council explained.
PvdA wants to amend the bill and clarify their pledge for new legislation on this front. On the basis of various studies, it appears “that the high degree of self-regulation that the Working Conditions Act suggests for employers does not sufficiently work in practice”, the party argued.
Despite opposing the proposal of the PvdA, the Council still acknowledged that “a growing number of people are dealing with burnouts and that work is a common cause”.