Generational change is coming to the Australian Workplace – Are you Ready?

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Some of the most profound and wide-ranging changes to the national Australian workplace, affecting millions of people, is set to become law.

The question that enterprise organisations must ask themselves is, are they ready for these developments or will they risk an inquiry from the Fair Work Commission asking why they broke these new rules?

What is the reason for the change?

With the impact of the digital age, there’s become an expectation for continuous connection to work. Employees are feeling pressure to be available at all hours which is having significant repercussions on their health and wellbeing. 

The law aims to address the issue of work-related constant connectivity by putting provisions in place to protect employees, allowing them the right to disengage from work outside of their allocated work hours. 

What is the Right to Disconnect?

The regulations relate to employees’ ‘Right to Disconnect’ from their work after their allocated shifts are complete, during breaks of before their shifts, and represents a significant reform in Australian employment law. From August 26, in a change to the Fair Work Act, which is without recent precedent, employees working for enterprise level organisations (SMBs will have until next year to get ready), “Employees will have a new ‘right to disconnect’ outside of work hours. Eligible 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.” 

While the Right to Disconnect (RTD) doesn’t prohibit employers contacting their employees, it gives the employee the power to choose to not receive communications when they aren’t expected to be working. 

The new law will give the Fair Work Commission the power to investigate any claims from Australian employers and employees where these and other RTD aren’t followed. This includes cases where employees are unreasonably refusing to respond.

What to do to prepare for the RTD laws?

In short, businesses can prepare for the new laws by adopting technology tools and evaluating their employee management processes to get ahead of the legislation. 

  • Have technology in place which secures communication with staff. Mobile Apps are an effective way to connect via an agreed means and restrict when and how notifications are received 
  • Implement a Right to Disconnect policy and employee communication policy 
  • Provide easy to understand information and training where necessary to ensure all staff are up to date and have the means to disconnect when needed 
  • Review what your organisation is doing to empower employees outside of work. Whether this be through technology, processes, or engagement tactics
Supporting employee rights – The nimbus Employee App Do Not Disturb feature 

Already ahead of legislation, nimbus has been providing client employees with a Do Not Disturb feature in the nimbus Employee App since 2018. The feature helps organisations stay ahead of changing laws and empower their employees by allowing them to nominate when they can be contacted.  

This ensures that no push notifications or alerts are sent to the user during pre-set times and before or after their scheduled work hours – giving staff back the responsibility of their work/life balance. 

As part of nimbus’ compliance-built Workforce Optimisation platform and integrated with smart scheduling, innovative technologies are already driving higher productivity and accuracy for users. There is now greater control and peace of mind as they seek clarity about when they are available and can be contacted by their employer.

How to easily and seamlessly enable organisation-wide disconnect tools to improve connection and give back control to your staff. 

  1. Employees can securely access the nimbus Mobile App from anywhere
  2. Simply go to Settings and define ‘Do Not Disturb’ times 
  3. This information is automatically configured within the nimbus platform to ensure that a worker won’t receive a push notification during the nominated disconnect window 
  4. Managers can be confident that the nimbus platform will consider Do Not Disturb times when sending out push notifications 
  5. Managers can implement system rules that enforce the disconnect protocol 
  6. An employee can still access their nimbus Employee App at any time 

Turning on the Do Not Disturb feature doesn’t deter from staff accessing critical work functions when they need to. This includes viewing their upcoming schedule, applying for leave, shift swaps, adding their availability – plus much more.  

It’s as simple as a few taps in a Mobile Application to provide the level of empowerment Australian workers have been asking for.


Looking for ways to improve communication and empower employees? You can learn more about the nimbus Employee App or contact us today to discover proven skills-first scheduling and employee management solutions.  

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