Tuesday 21. September 2021

Content:

“The right to disconnect and the need for a European weekly common day of rest”

Report of the European Sunday Alliance’s Webinar - 1 June 2021

 

On Tuesday 1st of June, the European Sunday Alliance organized a webinar on “The right to disconnect and the need for a European weekly common day of rest”. The webinar followed-up from the Alliance’s recent activities on the Right to Disconnect and aimed to raise awareness on the need to establish at the EU level a weekly common day of rest for all EU citizens. Key EU stakeholders spoke during the event, including MEP Dennis Radtke (EPP, Germany), Sponsor of the European Sunday Alliance, MEP Alex Agius Saliba (S&D, Malta), Rapporteur of the European Parliament’s recent Resolution on “the right to disconnect”, MEP Miriam Lexmann (EPP, Slovakia), Member of the European Parliament Intergroup on family-work balance, MEP Patrizia Toia (S&D, Italy), Co-Chair of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Social Economy, and Max Uebe, Head of Unit ‘Employment Strategy’ at the European Commission, in charge of the dossier of the right to disconnect at the European Commission.

The event, moderated by Hendrik Meerkamp from the European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CESI), was attended by over 90 participants. The background to the event was parliamentary resolution with recommendations to the Commission on the right to disconnect from January 2021.

The speakers agreed on the necessity to introduce a right to disconnect in times of increasing blurring of boundaries in order to avoid « new forms of slavery ». At the same time, some MEPs advocated for the general desirability of the introduction of measures prescribing a day of synchronised free time from work in the European Union.

Indeed, speakers generally agreed that a provision on a day of synchronised free time from work would represent an opportunity to make a positive statement about the world we want to live in, a world in which citizens, families, communities have space to thrive together. Participants, through their questions, also highlighted the economic desirability of synchronised free time, stressing that many workers appear have lower stress levels, are generally happier, and are able to recover better during common time off with families and friends and communities so that, in the long-run, they are performing better at work and less often ill or absent. To validate this high plausibility in scientific terms, participants called on the EU institutions to commission research exploring to what extent workers may have lower stress levels and able to recover better during common time off with families and friends and communities, as opposed to recovering during lone time.

In spite of agreeing on the possible political consensus on this initiative, the speakers shared different opinions about what measure would represent the best option for introducing such a prescription. Some of them agreed with the alliance’s proposal, i.e. that such a prescription may be included in a possible new directive on the right to disconnect. Other speakers, instead, stated that they would rather include it in a social partners’ agreement or in a revision of the working time directive.

 

The European Sunday Alliance was pleased to see support among policy makers about the necessity to introduce a right to disconnect and the desirability and benefits of synchronised time of rest and will continue to work with them to find the suitable regulatory measures to make it a reality for workers across Europe.

It is also gratifying that not only Parliament and the Commission are dealing with the issue – as the event showed. Even the Council has announced to become active: still under the Portuguese Council Presidency, which is striving for recognisable priorities in the social area, the Council adopted conclusions on telework on 14 June 2021.

“The right to disconnect and the need for a European weekly common day of rest”

Invitation to the European Sunday Alliance’s Webinar on 1st June 2021

The European Sunday Alliance is pleased to invite you to a webinar on 1st June 2021, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm CET: “The right to disconnect and the need for a European weekly common day of rest”. You are warmly invited to share this invitation and to register via this link by the 28 May 2021 if you wish to participate.

 

This webinar follows-up from our recent activities on the Right to Disconnect and aims to raise awareness on the need to establish at the EU level a weekly common day of rest for all EU citizens. It will involve key EU stakeholders, including

Programme

 

Opening Addresses

 

MEP Dennis Radtke (EPP, Germany)

Sponsor of the European Sunday Alliance

Co-Rapporteur of the European Parliament on “A strong social Europe for Just Transitions”

 

MEP Patrizia Toia (S&D, Italy) Co-Chair of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Social Economy

 

Exchange of views

 

MEP Alex Agius Saliba (S&D, Malta) Rapporteur of the European Parliament on the right to disconnect

 

MEP Miriam Lexmann (EPP, Slovakia) Member of the European Parliament’s EMPL Committee; Member of the EuropeanParliament Intergroup on Demographic challenges, family-work balance and youth transition

 

Max Uebe - Head of Unit ‘Employment Strategy’ at the European Commission, DG EMPL, B.1

 

Q&A with the audience

 

Conclusions from the ESA Steering Committee

 

 

The event will be moderated by Hendrik Meerkamp from the European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CESI).

 

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Policy Adviser for Economic and Social Affairs, Mrs. Alix de Wasseige (alix.dewasseige@comece.eu).

 

In times of increasing de-limitation of work: The chances for a European "Right to disconnect”

Statement from the Steering Commitee of the European Sunday Alliance

The pandemic has accelerated existing challenges of digitalisation in the work life, like intensifying work and extending working hours. Moreover, it profoundly touches the question of Sunday protection. Most of us might have realised: Work is increasingly timely and locally unbound. MEP Alex Agius Saliba (S&D/Malta) presented in July 2020 a legislative-initiative draft report on an EU-wide right to disconnect in the European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL Committee) in order to address the challenge of blurring boundaries between work and private life in Europe. The report contains recommendations for a legal act and invites the European Commission to submit a legislative proposal on the right to disconnect.

 

The European Sunday Alliance supports the report of the European Parliament and trusts that the European Commission will soon put forward a proposal for a directive on a right to disconnect which endorses a common day of rest in the Member States: Regardless of whether a proposal covers the protection of Sundays it offers now more than ever the chance to stop developments of increasing dissolution of boundaries of work and – in our view – it makes it inevitable for lawmakers to reflect on the question of what value we want to give to Sunday protection.

JOINT STATEMENT OF THE EUROPEAN SUNDAY ALLIANCE ON THE OCCASION OF THE ANNUAL EUROPEAN DAY FOR A WORK-FREE SUNDAY ON MARCH 3 2021

1700 years Sunday protection: The value of synchronised free time in times of increasing digitalisation

On March 3, 321 AD, emperor Constantine decreed Sunday to be a day of rest protected by law. On the occasion of today’s 1700-year anniversary of a work-free Sunday, the European Sunday Alliance recalls the lasting value of synchronised free time – in most European countries traditionally on Sundays – and the importance of protecting it. On this year’s annual European Day for a Work-Free Sunday, the European Sunday Alliance calls on political leaders in Europe to pay more attention to the value of synchronised free time. This is especially relevant in times where the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated existing challenges of digitalisation by intensifying work and extending working hours, thus putting a healthy work-life balance at risk for more people.

 

Consultation of the European Commission on a new EU Strategic Framework for Health and Safety at Work: European Sunday Alliance calls for EU action on a right to be disconnected in the EU Member States

As the European Commission consults on a new EU Strategic Framework of Health and Safety at Work for the years 2021-2027, the European Sunday Alliance calls on the European Commission to focus EU action on a right to be disconnected, as a way to prom

Responding to the European Commission’s consultation, the European Sunday Alliance states: “The Covid lockdowns have accelerated trends towards increasing levels of mobile & home working. With the rise of digital working, the fragmentation of working time has further proceeded. Working in the evenings & during weekends is increasingly common and indeed expected by many employers. This increases stress for workers while it affects their work-life balance; and this compromises the health and wellbeing of workers, making them not only sick in the long run but also causing increasingly more often their absence from work due to psychosocial illness for sustained periods of time.

 

 

Ahead of EU elections: what is next for work-free Sunday?

Brussels, 18 February 2019

unknownIn view of the EU elections, the European Sunday Alliance discussed with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and electoral candidates the importance of common work-free time and decent working hours. In view of the EU elections, the European Sunday Alliance discussed with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and electoral candidates the importance of common work-free time and decent working hours.

Almost 50% of the employees in Croatia work overtime

Zagreb, May 14, 2018

unknownOn the eve of the International Day of Families, which took place on May 15th, the House of Europe in Zagreb presented a survey regarding work-life balance, overtime work and work during leisure time in Croatia, as well as the perception of Sunday as a non-working day dedicated to family and rest. The survey was conducted in cooperation with the Croatian member of the European Parliament Marijana Petir and MediaNet agency.

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