Jacqui Lambie Says ‘Right to Disconnect’ Law Goes Too Far

Salim Ali
Published 2 weeks ago on 7 February, 2024
Jacqui Lambie claims ‘right to disconnect’ an overreach as major IR deal reached

In a significant development for Australian workers, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has advocated for the right to disconnect from work communications after hours. This stance, however, has been met with resistance from key crossbencher Jacqui Lambie, who deems it an overreach. Jacqui Lambie claims ‘right to disconnect’ an overreach as major IR deal reached, stirring debate over the balance between work and personal life.

Key takeaways

  • PM Albanese supports employees’ right to disconnect after work hours.
  • Greens party backs the government on the ‘right to disconnect’ measure.
  • Jacqui Lambie opposes the measure, questioning its necessity.
  • Industrial relations reforms are likely to pass with crossbench support.
The ‘right to disconnect’ policy allows employees to ignore work-related communications after hours without repercussions, aiming to improve work-life balance.

Albanese and Lambie Clash Over Work-Life Balance

Prime Minister Albanese has emphasized the importance of respecting personal time, stating that workers should not be expected to be available around the clock. This perspective aligns with the second tranche of his industrial relations reforms. Despite this, Jacqui Lambie claims ‘right to disconnect’ an overreach, arguing that the issue has not been a significant concern during her political career and questioning the need for legislative intervention.

Industrial Relations Bill Nears Passage

Despite Lambie’s objections, the industrial relations bill, which includes the ‘right to disconnect’ provision, is poised for passage with the support of the Greens and other crossbenchers. This bill is part of a broader effort to improve conditions for casual workers and address standards in the gig economy. The government’s commitment to these reforms showcases its dedication to modernizing Australian labor laws.

Policy Component Description
Right to Disconnect Employees can ignore work calls/emails after hours without penalty.
Reasonable Contact Employers can still make contact for significant work changes.
Unreasonable Contact Workers can seek a Fair Work Commission stop order if necessary.
Support and Opposition Supported by Greens, opposed by Jacqui Lambie and certain business groups.

Jacqui Lambie claims ‘right to disconnect’ an overreach, but the push for Australian workers to have the freedom to disengage from work communications after hours is gaining momentum. As the government seeks to pass the industrial relations reforms, the conversation around maintaining a healthy work-life balance continues. With crossbench support, the legislation is likely to become a new standard, potentially setting a precedent for future labor policies.

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