Local Union President Applauds Possible Disconnect Legislation

The president of Unifor Local 444 is applauding possible changes that would allow employees to disconnect from their employers.

Revamped labour standards being considered by the federal government may include the right for employees to disconnect after work hours.

David Cassidy says in some professions such as public service and the medical field,  being connected is part of the job, but employees deserve to have a work-life balance.

It's a policy adopted by France two years ago, giving employees the right to turn off their electronic devices after business hours — no emails or texts from their employer.

The law was implemented amid concerns that employees were doing unpaid overtime or being driven to burnout.

"People should have the right to be with their family, they should be able to disconnect, I mean, like come on, people get downtime as well," says Cassidy.

He says "if you want to disconnect then disconnect, if I was running a business and I wanted people to be on the clock 24-7, then I would make sure they knew that coming into the job."

Cassidy says a happy employee, is a productive employee.

"You don't have to be tethered to your phone, I mean you have the right to be with your family and away. If when you got hired with that corporation, if that was part of your conditions of your employment, then you understood that going in."

Labour Minister Patty Hajdu says the legislation will be introduced this fall.


— with files from AM800's Gord Bacon