Right to Disconnect focus on best practice welcomed

April 01, 2021

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has welcomed the publication by the Workplace Relations Commission of a Code of Practice on the Right to Disconnect.

Ibec Director of Employer Relations, Maeve McElwee, said: “It is positive to see the Code on Right to Disconnect focussing, as it does, on best practice, rather than layering on further legislation in circumstances where the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997, already provides a very effective and defined entitlement to disconnect.”

Our workplaces are changing faster than ever before and are experiencing an increased rate of adoption of new workplace technologies. While this offers significant positive opportunities for both employers and employees, it remains the case that work-life balance and time to rest remain fundamental to a healthy, engaged and productive workplace.

It is important to fully recognise the huge value that many employees place on workplace flexibility, and the opportunity to combine personal commitments with working time. Greater digitalisation of the workplace has been of significant assistance to employees in this respect, supporting labour market participation and strengthening diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

Similarly, flexibility in terms of productivity and responsiveness is essential to companies’ competitiveness, particularly those operating globally. Ireland remains an open economy and many of our employers, whether large multinationals or small indigenous businesses, no longer operate on a strict 9 to 5 basis, but across different time zones and responsive to their customer needs.