Thursday 2. December 2021
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Survey on the shifts in work-life balance and Sunday rest


unknownIn October 2017, a questionnaire was sent to members and supporters of the European Sunday Alliance, to conduct a small survey with regards to employees’ perception of shifts in their work-life balance and Sunday rest. The survey was launched as a follow-up to the ESA conference on Work-Life-Balance 4.0 – Challenges in a time of digitalisation in November 2016 and the ESA breakfast meeting with Members of the European Parliament on best practices of work-life balance in May 2017.

Download the results here

Sunday Alliance holds meeting at the Parliament on the role of common free time for social engagement


unknownThe European Sunday Alliance organised in the European Parliament a breakfast meeting on the role of common free time for civic engagement and volunteering. The event, hosted by the MEPs Evelyn Regner (S&D) and Thomas Mann (EPP), highlighted the challenge of reconciling social commitment with increasingly flexibilised working schedules. Read more

Legal victory for the protection of a work-free Sunday

Frankfurt sales forbidden by courts

The German alliance for a Free Sunday (which includes the ver.di trade union and the Catholic Employees Movement, KAB) has sued the city of Frankfurt, which had approved three Sunday sales. The courts confirmed the view of those in favour of a work-free Sunday and the sales were forbidden.


For more information, please click here for the full press release.

German Sunday Alliance: Protect Sunday, stop the expansion of shop hours

The German Sunday Alliance and trade unions have spoken out against plans for unrestricted Sunday openings for large stores. For more information, please click here.

News about the Working Time Directive

For the European Sunday Alliance (ESA) the EU Working Time directive (2003/88/EG) was and has been always a centre of advocacy. The protection of Sunday was a part of this directive in its early stages, but removed later on. On 26 April 2017 the European Commission has published an Interpretative Communication (click for link to PDF download) concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time. The Communication seeks to create and strengthen legal certainty, reflecting more than 50 court decisions on this matter of the European Court of Justice since 1993.


For the ESA it is interesting to recognise that the question of the Sunday is at least taken up in the Communication, which can be seen as a positive result of the advocacy work of the ESA in Brussels. In article 5, the Directive defines the right of an uninterrupted rest period of 35 hours. The Communication recalls that in the Directive from 1993 the Sunday was included in Art 5 – “The minimum rest period referred to in the first subparagraph shall in principle include Sunday” – but the European Court of Justice has annulled this provision because of a missing legal basis in the EU Treaties. The Interpretative Communication highlights that Sunday is still the normal day of rest in half of the EU Member States: Belgium (private sector), Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Greece, France, Croatia, Italy, Luxembourg, Austria, Portugal, Romania, and Slovakia.


Keep in touch

Help the ESA update its membership and supporter information

Dear ESA members and supporters, Over the past few weeks we have been updating our contact information for your organisations. Some of you will have received an email. If you have not yet replied, could you kindly do so? If you have not received such an email, please let us know by emailing Frank-Dieter Fischbach ( because that means our contact information for you is out of date.


5th Meeting of Interest Group: Work-Life-Balance

Digitalisation and the Future of Work

On Thursday, 4 May, the European Parliament Interest Group will meet and discuss the legislative challenges to ensure a decent work-life balance for the ongoing process of digitalisation of the world of labour. The Interest Group was launched in 2015 by the European Sunday Alliance.


To register for the event, please click here.

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GERMANY: Münster residents vote down Sunday shopping

8 November 2016

In Münster, Westphalia, Germany, 300 000 residents voted against further opening of shops on specific Sundays of the year.



UNITED KINGDOM: House of Commons stops plans for more shopping hours

13 April 2016

The British House of Commons stopped the governmental plans for even more shopping hours on Sundays in England and Wales. This might partially be due to the work of “Keep Sunday Special”, the British supporter of the European Alliance.




AUSTRIA: New Sunday Alliance formed

24 September 2015

Twenty (20) organisations in the Federal State Salzburg, Austria, have founded a Sunday Alliance as of 17 June 2015.




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