Labour plans ‘right to switch off’ for workers

A so-called “right to switch off” for workers could be introduced by Labour if the party wins power after the next general election.

The proposal, which would see employers restricted from contacting workers by phone or email outside working hours, could be similar to legislation already in place in France that seeks to give staff the right to disconnect from devices when not working.

Ms Rayner, the party’s shadow secretary of state for the future of work, told the Financial Times that “constant emails and calls outside of work should not be the norm and is harming work-life balance for many”.

Zero-hours contracts
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner is proposing reforms to help workers (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“We will look at how to implement this in practice, learning from countries where it has been introduced successfully.”

The proposal is one of many reforms designed to protect workers and included in Labour’s “new deal for working people”, with the Financial Times reporting that the policy giving staff a right to disconnect will likely be in the party’s general election manifesto.

An election is expected in 2024, with Labour still significantly ahead of Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives in the polls.

The party had a successful set of local elections, which saw the Conservatives lose nearly 1,000 councillors.