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Employees will have the ‘right to disconnect’ from work outside of their contracted hours if Labour come to power in the upcoming general election.


The proposal

Labour’s proposal would mean that employers would be prevented from contacting employees outside of their working hours. Labour intends to address work-life balance and ensure that home working doesn’t mean “24/7 offices”. Whilst this would be a new concept in UK law, it is already happening in other countries such as France.

Practical impact

Many salaried roles include an obligation for employees to perform additional work outside of their usual contracted hours to get their work done. If there’s a particularly busy period, an acquisition, or a business opportunity to seize – it can often mean working around the clock to get it done. We’ll need to wait and see how this right would be qualified to factor in the varied ways many businesses require their teams to work during particularly busy or challenging times.

A new law to disconnect will need to spell out what classifies as working time so that everyone is clear when working time starts and ends – without that employees and employers will be unable to comply.


The common action in respect of all of Labour’s people proposals is to take a fresh look at your employment contracts and ensure they’re in good shape before the general election. Employment contracts should clearly be able to identify working hours that reflect the hours actually worked by the individual. For those employers who have taken a more flexible approach to employment, perhaps even with contracts that explain the employee can work any hours they choose provided they get the job done, they’ll need to take a fresh look at their flexible offer.

Get in touch here if you need our help with reviewing your employment contracts before or after the election.


This update is accurate on the date it was published but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.