The Workplace Relations Commission (the “WRC”) has published its Code of Practice on the Right to Disconnect (the “Code”). The Code came into effect as of 1 April 2021 and defines for the first time in an Irish context the Right to Disconnect.
What is the Right to Disconnect?
The Code states that the Right to Disconnect refers to an employee’s right to be able to disengage from work and refrain from engaging in work-related electronic communications, such as emails, telephone calls or other messages, outside normal working hours.
The Code states that the Right to Disconnect has three main elements:
- i) the right of an employee to not routinely perform work outside normal working hours;
- ii) the right to not be penalised for refusing to attend to work matters outside of normal working hours; and
iii) the duty to respect another person’s right to disconnect (e.g., by not routinely emailing or calling outside normal working hours).