The ‘Right to Disconnect’ or ‘How to Pull the Plug on Work’
22 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2019 Last revised: 7 Aug 2019
Date Written: June 23, 2019
Technology has radically changed the way in which human relationships develop and its non-stopping progress is set to affect us more and more in the future. Regarding the world of work, the evolution of the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) has encouraged a transformation and innovation on work, labour organization and employment relationships, thus representing a real paradigm shift. While this may be beneficial in several aspects, it also entails the arising of new matters that must be taken into account at a regulatory level to avoid undesired consequences and disputes. The use of digital tools, for example, has affected the balance between professional life and personal life through the possibility of receiving and sending emails and text or voice messages anytime and anywhere about labour related issues. The recognition of a "right to disconnect" and other related policies arose by several countries in response to the problems caused by this sense of permanent connectivity. This paper aims to explain what does the right to disconnect implies by carrying out a comparative analysis of the existing law at a global scale and the ongoing efforts of regulation; reviewing its practical implementation based upon the existing experiences so far; and trying to set the upcoming challenges for its consolidation as a valuable protection mechanism.
Keywords: Right to disconnect, Work 4.0, Work-life balance, Forfait jours agreements, Lavoro agile
JEL Classification: J, J2, J20, J21, J22, J24, J28, J29, J8, J80, J81, J83, J88, J89, K1, K3, K10, K31, L2, L23, L25, O3
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