Scottish Fair Work Convention backs Right to Disconnect

23 September 2021

The Scottish Government’s Fair Work Convention have backed the idea of a Right to Disconnect in a major boost for Prospect’s campaign on the issue.

In a blog the co-chairs of the Convention argue that “Boundaries between work and home life have become increasingly blurred for many, making it difficult for people to switch off.”

As as result they say that they “encourage employers to work with unions and their workforce to develop protections against ‘always on’ working, delivering solutions through the fair work principles of effective voice and respect.”

This is one of the first explicit endorsements of the idea of the Right to Disconnect from a government body in the UK and follows a positive meeting between Prospect and Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Kate Forbes, raising hopes that the Scottish Government may be willing to take a lead on this issue within the UK.

Prospect’s National Secretary for Scotland Richard Hardy said:

“Prospect have been leading the campaign for a new Right to Disconnect across the UK and we welcome this important intervention from the Chairs of the Fair Work Convention.

“The rise of digital technology at work has had many benefits, not least the ability to work flexibly and remotely, but it can also cause negative consequences for workers such as an inability to switch off and burnout.

“We believe a Right to Disconnect is the answer, and this is a powerful message to businesses to work with unions and their workforce to help redraw boundaries between work and home and ensure privacy and personal time are respected.

“There is a fantastic opportunity for Scotland to join the Republic of Ireland, France, and other countries that have taken action on the Right to Disconnect, and set the pace on workers’ rights in the UK.  We urge the Scottish Government to seize this moment to act, working with unions to introduce a Right to Disconnect in the public sector and sending a clear signal to the private sector that this is an issue that they should be actively working on.”

 

The Fair Work Convention blog can be found here: https://www.fairworkconvention.scot/fair-work-and-the-right-to-disconnect/

 

 


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