Servicing Australia wide HR consulting for employers Australia wide.

Right to disconnect

Part of the Australian Government’s “Closing Loopholes” legislation is an employee’s right to disconnect outside of work hours.

Employees will have the right to refuse contact outside their working hours unless that refusal is unreasonable. This means an employee can refuse to monitor, read or respond to contact from an employer or a third party.

The right also covers attempted contact outside of an employee’s working hours.

The changes take effect at different times between August 2024 and August 2025.

Find out more about the Closing Loopholes Acts and what’s changing here.

How does the “reasonable refusal” factor work?

Several factors must be considered when determining whether an employee’s refusal is unreasonable. This includes:

  • the reason for the contact
  • whether the employee is compensated for: 
    • being available in the period when contact is made or attempted, or
    • working additional hours outside their ordinary hours of work
  • the nature of the employee’s role and level of responsibility
  • the employee’s personal circumstances, including family or caring responsibilities.

Other factors may also apply.

What happens if there’s a dispute about an employee’s right to disconnect?

Disputes about an employee’s right to disconnect should first be discussed and resolved at the workplace level.

If that isn’t possible, employees or employers can go to the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) to deal with a dispute. The Commission can make orders or deal with the dispute in other ways.

The right to disconnect will also be a workplace right under general protection laws. These laws are protected rights all employees receive under the Fair Work Act.

Will Awards have a “right to disconnect” clause?

All awards will be required to include a ‘right to disconnect term’ by 26 August 2024. This means that specific rules will be added to awards to explain how this new right would apply to different industries and occupations.

When does the right to disconnect kick in?

The change starts on:

  • 26 August 2024 for non-small business employers
  • 26 August 2025 for small business employers

Want more info?

If you have more questions or need help at your workplace, give Bare Bones Consulting a call on 0401 279 065 to discuss our range of HR services to help your business succeed.

We believe our approach to HR is unique… but then again, so is your business.

  • PO Box 3956,
    Burleigh Town 4220,
  • 07 5576 4693
  • 0401 279 065
  • Bare Bones Consulting

Contact Us

Give Bare Bones Consulting a call to discuss our range of HR services to help your business succeed.

Even if you elect to not proceed after our first complimentary consultation you’ll be in a better position to know what’s possible.

We believe our approach to HR is unique... but then again, so is your business.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Note: Bare Bones Consulting provides HR services for employers. Employees seeking advice on workplace concerns should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.