Community news|16/09/20

Eurofound report on work–life balance and the right to disconnect

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Eurofound has published a study on the different regulations aimed at reconciling private and professional life for workers using telework or digital tools. In conclusion, the Foundation suggests that it may be necessary to adopt provisions offering workers the right to disconnect.

It points out that applying the same rules to all workers “could undermine the potential work-life balance benefits of flexible work based on information and communication technologies”. In this regard, “it should be noted that a ‘right to disconnect’ is different from a ‘duty to disconnect’; these rights can be tailored to different individuals, organisational and sectoral characteristics. This is the case in France, where the terms of these rights are agreed at company level”.

According to Eurofound, since 2016, Belgium, France, Italy and Spain have legislation that includes the right to disconnect. In Portugal, the proposal was finally rejected in July 2019.

For his part, the MEP Alex Agius Saliba (S & D), in a motion for resolution tabled on 28 July, called on the European Commission to take an initiative to introduce a right to disconnection for European employees. If the text is adopted in plenary, the Commission will have to specify whether it intends to take such an initiative or justify why it does not intend to do so.

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