European Parliament has voted in favour of a resolution on the right to disconnect, a proposal first tabled by Maltese MEP Alex Agius Saliba.
The resolution, which gained 472 approval votes out of a possible 681, involves the right to not answer emails and phone calls after work hours.
“Today’s vote is the first but crucial step,” Agius Saliba told Lovin Malta.
“Now that the report has been adopted, the Commission will not be able to ignore our call any longer and would have to take action and legislate the right to disconnect at an EU level,” the MEP added.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen previously pledged to respond with a legislative act whenever the majority of European Parliament adopts a report like this.
“This is also a pivotal moment for me. I have been advocating for a right to disconnect even before being elected as an MEP. Championing this at the EU level has been a priority from day one,” Agius Saliba said.
Digital tools used at work have created the phenomena of being “over-connected” which has been further exacerbated by a new work-at-home culture due to pandemic lockdowns.
“The right to disconnect grants workers the balance between work and private life, fair working conditions as well as better mental and physical health,” he said.
Malta’s General Workers Union has previously endorsed the proposal, saying that strong legislation is needed in light of the blurring lines of work and life due to COVID-19 and the internet.
What do you make of the proposal?
Photo credit of European Parliament: Mehr Demokratie
This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.