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Monday, May 20, 2019

Labor group supports workers’ ‘right to disconnect’

A LABOR group based in Negros Occidental has expressed support to the proposed bill that seeks to stop work-related electronic communications after office hours.

House Bill 4721, authored by Quezon City Second District Representative Winston Castelo, aims to amend Presidential Decree No. 442, or the Labor Code of the Philippines.

It seeks to include provisions on the “right to disconnect” or letting employees disregard work-related communications after office hours without fear of reprimand or disciplinary action.

Wennie Sancho, secretary-general of the General Alliance of Workers Association (Gawa), yesterday said this will give employees the right to disconnect from work by the time they should be resting, recovering from fatigue, and spending time for themselves and their families.

Sancho said this is undeclared labor wherein employees are now forced to work beyond office hours by responding to e-mails, text messages, and calls.

“Work-related communications after office hours has detrimental effect on employee’s welfare and well-being,” he said, adding that it could lead to burnout or physical and psychological stress caused by total inability to rest.

In terms of impact to employers, the group pointed out that the “right to disconnect” will also benefit them as it would make their employees well-rested and more productive.

This could lessen the chances of absences, tardiness, and sickness among workers, Gawa said.

Thus, it encourages other labor groups in the province to support this “pro-labor” policy.
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