Workers in Australia have recently been given the right to ignore calls and messages outside of their normal shifts. The law was passed by the Labor government with the support of the Greens, but faces repeal by the Coalition leader Dutton. Dutton voiced concerns that the Greens and the union movement are influencing industrial relations policy. The Labor Party admits there is a need to clarify certain aspects of the legislation. Prime Minister Albanese has expressed his desire for a “common sense approach” to the legislation. Business groups are critical of the legislation, and claim that it will harm productivity and increase uncertainty.
During the parliamentary debate, Labor was unable to pass an amendment after they received advice that the bill could result in criminal penalties. Finance Minister Katy Gallagher blamed procedural issues and politics. The legislation will be fixed in spite of these issues. Legislation providing workers with a “right to disconnect” exists in other countries including France, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Ireland. However, these laws are not as restrictive as the one passed in Australia.