Bill Seeks to Stop Work-related Emails and Texts after Office Hours

Finally, lawmakers came up with a bill seeking to stop work-related emails, texts and calls after office hours.

A new bill seeking to put an end to work-related electronic communications following office hours has been filed before the House of Representatives.

The new House Bill 4721 was authored by Quezon City Representative, Winston Castelo, seeks to amend the Presidential Decree No. 442 or the Labor Code of the Philippines, to include measures on “right to disconnect” or allowing employees to ignore work-related emails, texts and phone calls after office hours without fear of getting reprimanded or subjected to disciplinary action.

Also, the proposed law further obliges employers to set the hours when employees are not supposed to answer or send work-related emails, texts and calls, as well as the conditions and exemptions that come along with it, subject to the Department of Labor and Employment’s provided rules.

According to media sources, Castelo noted that although digital technology indeed connects people, it has unfavorable effect on the employees’ well-being on the other hand.

"Studies show that the anticipatory stress and expectations of answering after-hours emails is draining employees, leading to 'burnout' ... caused by a total inability to rest and diminished work-family balance," Castelo said and we quoted.

He further added that such measure will provide employees the time to focus on improving their personal lives.

Castelo claimed that the bill aims to call on employers to implement company policies that will reduce the pressure of employees to respond on work-related emails, texts and calls after work hours. He also believes that the same would lessen the negative effects of stress on the employees.

Aizelle Joe