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Closing Loopholes Act - Right to Disconnect

act changes closingloopholes contact disconnect employee employee rights employer fair work monitor nsw nt outofhours read refuse respond sa tasmania victoria wa Mar 26, 2024

 Calling all Employees! 

Do you ever feel obligated to respond to your Employer's messages out of hours? 

As of the 26th August 2024 (for large business employees) and 26th August 2025 (for small business employees*) employees have the right to refuse contact from their employer if it falls outside of the employee's working hours. This change forms part of the 'Closing Loopholes' amendments in the Fair Work Act.

However, as with anything, there's key terms and conditions that apply... we wonder in reality, with all of the exceptions (some of which are quite subjective), how many employees will this really apply to?


What does this actually mean? 

Employee's have the right to refuse to monitor, read OR respond to contact or attempted contact from an employer or third party outside of their working hours. This right will be added to the workplace rights that form part of the Fair Work Act general protections. 

An employee's right to refuse contact will not apply if refusal is deemed unreasonable. This will depend on factors such as: 

  • the reason for the contact or attempted contact; 
  • how the contact or attempted contact is made;
  • the level of disruption the contact or attempted contact causes the employee; 
  • the extent to which the employee is compensated to remain available to perform work during the period in which the contact or attempted contact is made; 
  • working additional hours outside of the employee's ordinary work hours; 
  • the nature of the employee's role and the employee's level of responsibility; and 
  • the employee's personal circumstances (including family or caring responsibilities).


Are you an Employer? 

We recommend reviewing any employment contracts and policies, with this change in mind. Having clear expectations with your employees around communication outside of standard work hours will be important.

Please feel free to reach out to a member of the Employii team and we can assist you with this or any questions you may have. We are contactable via [email protected] or give us a call on 0401 510 559.


Stay tuned for our next Closing Loophole blog! 


Author: Jess Roughsedge (HR Officer)