Liberals eye closer look at ‘right to disconnect’ in labour rule revamp: report

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OTTAWA — The federal Liberals are considering whether a reshape of federal labour standards should include giving workers the right to ignore their job-related emails at home.

The idea of putting into law a “right to disconnect” is one of several policy areas that the Liberals identify as meriting further study in a report being made public ahead of the Labour Day long weekend.

Also mentioned in the report summarizing federal consultations on potential updates to the decades-old labour code is whether to set a federal minimum wage and set more stringent rules around contract workers.

The Liberals intend to modernize the federal labour standards that affect more than 900,000 workers in Canada, representing about six per cent of the national workforce.

Governments in Canada and overseas have taken a closer look at the right-to-disconnect concept after France enacted a law in 2016 giving workers the right to turn off their electronic work devices outside of business hours.

Employer and labour groups were split on whether the government should legislate the ability for workers to not answer work-related calls, email and messages when not on the job.

The Canadian Press