Right to Disconnect: The Negative Impact of Remote Digital Work on Young Members’ Well-Being during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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2021 National Young Members' Conference
5 August 2021

This Conference denounces the negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on young workers’ wellbeing and work/life balance, specifically with regard to the Right to Disconnect.

This Conference notes that the Right to Disconnect is the ability to not engage in work-related electronic communications such as e-mails or messages during non-work hours.

The Conference notes that, according to a survey conducted in July 2021 by the South West Young Members Forum, the majority of respondents find it hard to switch off (57%), work over their contracted hours (66%) and continue to work despite not feeling well (83%).

The Conference believes that urgent action is needed to safeguard Young Members’ wellbeing.

Therefore, this Conference:

•instructs the National Young Members Forum (NYMF) to campaign and raise the impact of the Right to Disconnect on wellbeing amongst all union branches.

•encourages the NYMF to work with the TUC Young Workers’ Forum on the Right to Disconnect.

•asks the NYMF to call on the NEC to encourage branches to campaign directly with employers to produce clear guidelines on the Right to Disconnect.

•asks the NYMF to call on the NEC to lobby the government over the introduction of a Right to Disconnect Bill.