With unprecedented numbers of employees working remotely, the EU is working on legislation that protects workers’ “right to disconnect.”
As the coronavirus pandemic spread across the globe, employees went home in record numbers to work remotely. While many employees have loved the opportunity and flexibility of working from home, doing so has come with its own challenges. Chief among those challenges has been increased blurring of the lines between home life and work, as well as the expectation employees are always available.
The EU is looking to address the problem. According to Deutsche Welle, “lawmakers passed a non-binding resolution arguing that individuals have a fundamental ‘right to disconnect.’”
“After months of teleworking, many workers are now suffering from negative side effects such as isolation, fatigue, depression, burnout, muscular or eye illnesses,” said Alex Agius Saliba, the Maltese politician who pushed the resolution. “The pressure to always be reachable, always available, is mounting, resulting in unpaid overtime and burnout.”
The next step is for the full chamber to approve the measure. It can then be submitted to the commission and the individual EU member nations for a vote.
It’s a safe bet this kind of legislation will become more common as remote work becomes the new status quo.