Written by: John Greenhalgh

At its core, the ‘Right to Disconnect’ law stipulates that employers are prohibited from contacting employees outside of their designated work hours, unless under specific circumstances. These exceptions include instances classified as emergencies or genuine welfare matters. Additionally, employees must receive an ‘availability allowance’ to justify any work-related communication during non-work hours.

Navigating Employer Responsibilities:

As employers, it is imperative to navigate the following responsibilities under the ‘Right to Disconnect’ law:


  1. Assessing Communication Necessity: Employers must critically evaluate the necessity of contacting employees outside of regular work hours. Prioritising respect for employees’ personal time and restricting after-hours communication to emergencies or genuine welfare matters is crucial.
  2. Financial Implications: For organisations requiring employees to be available outside of standard working hours, considering the financial implications of providing availability allowances is essential. This compensation ensures fair remuneration for employees’ time and availability beyond their typical work schedule.
  3. Avoiding Adverse Actions: Employers must refrain from taking adverse actions against employees who exercise their rights under the ‘Right to Disconnect’ law. Any form of retaliation or adverse treatment could result in legal repercussions under the General Protections provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
  4. Cultural Adaptation: Recognising the potential cultural shift within the organisation is crucial, particularly in industries where after-hours communication has been normalised. Embracing this shift provides an opportunity to reassess workplace norms and prioritise a healthy work-life balance for employees.
  5. Legal Compliance: Staying informed about developments and clarifications regarding the ‘Right to Disconnect’ law’s scope, limits, and enforceability is imperative for ensuring legal compliance. Proactively addressing any potential risks or legal challenges safeguards the organization against legal ramifications.


The enactment of the ‘Right to Disconnect’ law marks a significant milestone in employee rights and workplace dynamics. As employers, navigating the intricacies of this legislation requires a comprehensive understanding of its provisions and implications. By prioritising respect for employees’ personal time, evaluating communication necessity, and ensuring legal compliance, employers can foster a supportive work environment that promotes employee well-being and productivity.


The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice or substitute for the advice of a professional. This information does not consider your personal circumstances and may not reflect the most current legal developments. Should you need advice, please contact our firm for targeted information relating to personal your situation.