Disconnected! Quebec tables Bill 492, aimed at employers. Working at home has blurred the lines of work-life balance
At a time when a record number of Quebecers have to work from home, it is time more than ever to regulate the right to disconnect, insists the manager for Québec solidaire in matters working, Alexandre Leduc . The member for Hochelaga-Maisonneuve tabled a bill this morning in the National Assembly to force employers to develop a policy of disconnection in their workplace.
“The pandemic has blurred the lines between personal life and work, which were already challenged by the increasing presence of technology in our lives. Right now, one person in two is teleworking in Quebec, and the feeling of being constantly at work is more present than ever among workers. However, the law is not equipped to respond to this reality. The government cannot say on the one hand that it wants to promote technology and work, and on the other, not to regulate the right to disconnect. One cannot go without the other, ”argues Mr. Leduc.
The bill presented by the member for Hochelaga-Maisonneuve is modeled on a similar project presented in 2018 by his colleague Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois . It would oblige employers to adopt a disconnection policy for all of its employees. For the solidarity deputy, it is not a question of imposing a uniform framework, but rather of ensuring that each employee is protected in his right to disconnect from work.
Bill 492 in brief
- Require any employer to establish a disconnection policy outside working hours, applicable to all of its employees.
- This policy must in particular determine the periods during which an employee has the right to be cut off from all communication relating to his job and provide for a protocol for the use of communication tools outside working hours.
- For employers with 100 or more employees, the disconnection policy is drawn up by a committee, half of whose members represent the employees.
- For employers with less than 100 employees, the policy is developed by the employer and must be approved by the Commission des normes, de l’assurance, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail.
“The goal is not to impose a wall-to-wall rule, but to entrust each employer with the responsibility of developing its own disconnection policy according to needs and constraints. The first step is to recognize that a culture change is necessary in our workplaces. Employers should ask themselves if 11:00 p.m. text or Sunday morning email is really necessary. The reality may be different from one workplace to another, but there is one thing that is the same everywhere: the need for workers to pull the plug after their work day, “concludes Alexandre Leduc .
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