EU Calls for Bill on “Right to Disconnect” From Work at Home

The European Union lawmakers said that disconnecting from work is a right as they voted in favor of the resolution on the “right to disconnect” on Tuesday.

The European Union lawmakers said that disconnecting from work is a right as they voted in favor of the resolution on the “right to disconnect” on Tuesday. 

“The right to disconnect refers to a worker’s right to be able to disengage from work and refrain from engaging in work-related electronic communications, such as emails or other messages, during non-work hours,” the EU said. 

The resolution had 31 votes, with 6 votes against it and 18 abstentions. The Employment Committee said, “EU countries must ensure that workers are able to exercise the right to disconnect effectively, including by means of collective agreements,” to protect workers’ health and wellbeing. 

Lawmakers also emphasized the right to disconnect from work “outside working hours without facing any repercussions.”

According to the EU, the pandemic gave rise to over a third of its workers now working from home which contributes to extended working hours, blurred boundaries between the work and personal time, as well as fatigue, depression and burnout. Even resulting to unpaid overtime, said lawmaker Alex Agius Saliba who led the resolution.

The resolution will be voted on in the plenary on January.


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