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EU: Right to disconnect law on the way

EU Commission commences process for a Directive on telework and the right to disconnect. European Parliament initiated this move for EU minimum standards and conditions for remote work. We flagged this development in last week's newsletter.  

Why it matters: This initiative represents a shift in power, with the Parliament gaining the ability to propose European laws, which was previously the sole prerogative of the EU Commission.

The big picture: The Commission document sets out a number of issues that it thinks need to be addressed in any new law:

  • Establishing the right to disconnect
  • Protecting teleworkers’ health and safety at work
  • Addressing collective information and consultation rights
  • Providing information to workers
  • Promoting the role of the social partners
  • Ensuring enforcement

What's next: The social partners can negotiate on the matter, but it is unlikely at this time. The consultation could run until the end of the year, with legislation potentially being discussed in 2025.

The bottom line: At most, 40% of all European workers can avail of the flexibilities that telework offers. The other 60% must turn up at their place of work everyday. We need to be careful about opening new industrial divides between laptop and hands-on lands.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

EU Commission factsheet

 

Published on:

Authors: Tom Hayes

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