Right to disconnect: a popular principle for a real health issue



The “right to disconnect” has been much debated in recent years. And even more so since the pandemic and the surge in teleworking. UEL does not share the views of the European Parliament which recommended in January 2021 the adoption of a directive in this field. It disagrees with this recommendation, while there is an agreement between social partners at European level of June 2020 including a disconnection component. Neither can it validate the content of the text envisaged by the European Parliament, which places new administrative and organisational constraints on companies, without any real added value in relation to the problem envisaged, while at the same time sowing confusion on the legal level.

UEL is aware of the health issues at stake in the demands for a right to disconnect. It invites the European legislator to take direct inspiration from the opinion of the Luxembourg Economic and Social Council published in April 2021, whose draft law, drawn up in consultation with the social partners, was included in the draft law n° 7890 of September 2021 at national level. The principle is clear: the right to disconnect is not a right in its own right, but a corollary of the rules on working time and rest time. And the solution is measured: each company must adopt a regime ensuring the respect of the right to disconnect outside working time adapted to the particular situation of the company or sector. Raising awareness of the “proper use” of digital communication tools in the world of work is fundamental in this context. And this actually also applies to the private sphere.