The right to disconnect from work-related communications

Leila Moosa, Senior Associate in our Employment Law practice joined Rofhiwa Madzena on eNCA to unpack the right to disconnect from work-related communications outside of working hours, in light of increasing international trends that recognise this right in varying degrees.

23 Apr 2024 05:55 Minutes TV interview

Leila explains that South Africa's basic employment conditions require employers to regulate working hours for employees, considering factors like health, safety, and family obligations.
For employees who earn below the earnings threshold (currently around R 254,371.67) there a limitations on ordinary hours worked, up to a maximum weekly limit of 45 hours, beyond which overtime applies (capped at 10 hours).
Leila adds that for employees earning above this earnings threshold, flexibility regarding work hours often depends on the nature of the job and employers' operational requirements.
With the increase of remote work and constant connectivity via smartphones and laptops, boundaries between work and personal life have blurred, further intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic.
While South Africa does not have a specific "right to disconnect" law, embracing the right to disconnect in line with employers' operational requirements represents a crucial step towards promoting employee well-being, enhancing productivity, and fostering sustainable employment relationships in the digital age.

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