Labour leadership candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey pledges workers can turn phones off out of hours

'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,' says leadership hopeful

Rebecca Long-Bailey says Labour manifesto was poorly communicated

Labour leadership candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey has pledged to give workers the legal right to switch off their phones outside of the office in a bid to end 24/7 work culture.

The shadow business secretary said staff should be given the freedom to turn off their devices without being anxious about being punished for not responding to emails and calls during their time off.

The move comes after France passed laws in 2017 to give workers the "right to disconnect", which forces organisations with more than 50 workers to define employees' rights to ignore their mobiles.

In an interview with BBC Breakfast, Ms Long-Bailey was 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."

Ms Long-Bailey is one of the frontrunners in Labour leadership contest, where she is regarded as the left-wing heir to Jeremy Corbyn. But she has struggled to shake off the image of a continuity candidate.

The Salford and Eccles MP said she would "build on" the policies from Labour's last manifesto and claimed the party's problem was that it "didn't package them correctly".

She said: "We've had the most devastating loss in a general election that I think we've ever seen. The Labour party needs to recognise the reasons for that defeat and they were numerous.

"Brexit, of course, was an issue we've lost trust with many of our voters on that. If you were a Leave voter, you thought we were trying to overturn the result of the referendum. If you were a Remain voter, you thought we weren't going far enough to have that strong relationship with the EU."

Ms Long-Bailey said Labour's stance on a referendum became muddled, adding: "That was a bit of a disastrous position for us to be in because we lost faith and we confused many of our electorate on our issue."

Asked about whether she supported Labour's election ideas, the leadership hopeful said: "We had some of the most transformative policies within our manifesto that we've had in a generation but the problem was we didn't package them correctly."

Ms Long-Bailey said she "agreed with everything in the manifesto" but admitted she struggled to keep pace with the number of announcements, despite being a senior member of the shadow cabinet.

She is up against Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy on the postal ballot paper for members and supporters.

Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, is struggling to win enough support from affiliated groups be elected the new leader on 4 April.

Ms Long-Bailey said she would serve under whoever is elected as leader of the party if she fails to win the contest, adding: "I like all of the candidates. Despite us being against eachother, we are actually quite friendly."

The Labour frontbencher also admitted receiving regular online abuse over her clothes and her "expressive eyebrows" but she said she was "not bothered".

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in