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    Moves to opt-out of ‘after-work’ e-mails during rest periods

    Posted on August 21, 2019 by Gerald Flynn

    The Government is to consider a new employment law to provide a right to switch-off e-mails when away from work or on holidays.

    The move comes two years after France introduced similar rules to ensure workers have the right to switch off and no longer feel the obligation to check work-related emails outside office hours.

    Minister for Business Heather Humphreys said that with the “increasing digitalisation of the workforce” it was important from a work-life balance perspective that there would be “clearly defined guidelines regarding workers’ rights to switch off after office hours”.

    In 2017, the French government introduced an employment law which obliges organisations to guarantee their employees a right to disconnect from technology.

    Last year business executive Gráinne O’Hara, from meat producer Kepak, was awarded €7,500 by the Labour Court over being required to deal with out-of-hours work emails, including some after midnight, which led to her working more than 48 hours a week. She was unable to have “a

    a rest period of not less than 11 consecutive hours in each period of 24 hours during which he or she works for his or her employer”.