Long-Bailey pledges right to switch off work phones out of hours

Labour leadership candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey will pledge to help end the 24/7 work culture by giving employees the right not to be contacted outside working hours.

The shadow business secretary will on Friday commit to giving workers the freedom to switch off phones so they do not have to be anxious about receiving emails and calls during leisure time.

While her campaign team gave few details, a “right to disconnect” in France obliges organisations with more than 50 workers to define employees’ rights to ignore their mobiles.

Labour Party annual conference 2018
Ms Long-Bailey is among the favourites to replace Mr Corbyn (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Ms Long-Bailey is expected to say: “Aspirational socialism is about us all rising together, and that means coming together to collectively solve issues that are damaging our mental health and stopping us getting quality time with our families or in our communities.

“We can all do better with aspirational socialism, through pushing for an end to the 24/7 work culture, and with trade unions empowered to negotiate this, we can work hard, be paid for the work we do and keep that precious time with our friends and family, uninterrupted by emails or demands.”

The Salford and Eccles MP is one of the frontrunners to succeed Jeremy Corbyn after Labour’s worst general election result since 1935.

And she is also seen as being closest ideologically to Mr Corbyn and has pledged to renationalise key utilities.

She is up against Sir Keir Starmer, Lisa Nandy and Emily Thornberry to be elected the new leader on April 4.

All the candidates apart from Ms Thornberry have so far won sufficient support from groups affiliated to Labour to make it onto the postal ballot of members and supporters.

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