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Email overload? These new ‘right to disconnect’ rules could be the answer

The new rules give employees the right to fully switch off from their professional duties at the end of the workday. Getty Images/iStockphoto As work laptops and phones increasingly make their way into employees’ personal living spaces, some clearer boundaries have been established, at least for Irish employees, in the form of a new official “right to disconnect” from emails and calls outside of normal working hours.

The Irish Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar has unveiled a new code of practice to act as future guidance for the workplace, and which gives employees the right to fully switch off from their professional duties at the stroke of 5.30pm – or rather, whenever they have agreed with their employer that the workday should be over.

Once they have called it a day, employees should be able to disengage from their job and refrain from starting or responding to any form of work-related communications , according to the new rules.

The code of practice was developed over the past few months following a request from Varadkar to better support and facilitate remote working, but the guidance applies to every type of job.

“The code of practice comes into effect immediately and applies […]

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