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European Sunday Alliance

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.

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