The Greens Have Won A Right To Disconnect


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You deserve a life outside of work.

No one should feel like they need to be available to their boss 24/7.

That’s why the Greens fought for and won Australian workers a right to disconnect. In February 2024, a Greens amendment to the Closing Loopholes industrial relations bill secured workers the right to ignore unreasonable contact from their employers after hours.

When workers aren’t able to find time for themselves and those they care for outside of work, it leads to poor sleep, stress, burnout, and degraded relationships with friends and family.

Unpaid overtime is also one of the key avenues for wage theft. Australians work an average of 6 weeks unpaid overtime each year, equal to over $92 billion in unpaid wages across the economy.

Now, workers will have the backing of legislation to push back against exploitative employers.

The new right is very simple – from July 2024, workers can raise a complaint with their employer about intrusive phone calls or the expectation they answer work emails after hours.

If an agreement cannot be reached, workers can apply to the Fair Work Commission for a stop order on the employer. This will legally force them to cease unreasonable contact after hours.

Workers will be empowered to set clear boundaries, allowing them to be fully present in their personal lives, and return to work with renewed energy and focus.

But we can’t stop there. We know that the benefits of productivity gains over past decades have been swallowed up by employers in higher profit margins while workers have maintained standard working hours with minimal wage increases.

That’s why we need to follow the evidence and trial a 4-day work week. Like the right to disconnect, this could reduce burnout and encourage better work-life balance for millions of Australians.

>> Read more on 4-day work week