November 20, 2020
The EU Parliament will soon decide whether to draft legislation establishing “minimum requirements to enable workers who use digital tools…for work purposes to exercise their right to disconnect and to ensure that employers respect workers’ right to disconnect.”
Employers would be required to “implement the right to disconnect in a fair, lawful and transparent manner,” and “record individual working times in an objective, reliable and accessible way.” To the final point, the directive states that “any worker shall be allowed at any time to request and obtain the record of their working times.”
The draft report by MEP Alex Agius Saliba calling on the Parliament to bring forward legislation should be voted on before year-end in committee, and will then be considered by the full Parliament early in 2021. If the EU Commission were to react favorably to the call for legislation, it would be some time later in 2021 before a text would be presented and it would then need to be considered by the Council of Ministers.
BEERG comment: “There is a case to be made for measures that ensure work/life balances, that safeguard personal time, and that underpin the right to privacy. But before legislating any such measures, there needs to be a much wider dialogue involving employee voices, especially the voices of the digital workforce. Legislators should ask them directly what they want. The digital tools are there to do so.”