A new law in Portugal – it’s now illegal for bosses to text or email employees after work, except in exceptional circumstances. There are penalties for companies that disturb the privacy of staff or their families, and employers must compensate staff for work-related expanses at home. At least every two months, staff should meet with their superiors in order to prevent worker isolation. The Parliament did not adapt a “right to disconnect”, which would have allowed employees to turn off work devices and messaging apps after hours.
Why do we care?
EU listeners care because I don’t expect this to be the last. There’s a certain logic to protecting workers rights here.
US listeners may be dismissive – and so I want to offer an idea. Why not make this policy? You don’t need a law to make a good policy, and in a competitive labor market, why not do this? Codifying sensible policies and being clear about them is a perk. There’s no dishonor in borrowing great ideas.