Workers should have the right to switch off mobile phones, says Rebecca Long-Bailey

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Workers should be given the legal right to switch off their mobile phones outside office hours, Rebecca Long-Bailey said today.

The Labour leadership hopeful said employees should be able to refuse to be contacted outside working hours. 

She said it would be part of a drive to ‘end the 24/7 working culture that affects our mental health’.  

In an interview on BBC Breakfast, Ms Long-Bailey highlighted that France had a ‘right to disconnect’, so companies with more than 50 workers must have systems in place so workers can be out of contact.

She said: ‘France has introduced laws that allows workers to switch off so they cannot be contacted outside working hours… 

‘These are simple things that I think can be added to our portfolio of policies.’ 

Ms Long-Bailey said: ‘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. 

Ms Long-Bailey is seen as the favoured candidate of the hard-Left in the contest, with her main rivals shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer and backbencher Lisa Nandy. 

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. The winner will be declared on April 4.

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