Workers should have the right to disconnect

Eurocadres is in favour of legislation defining the right to disconnect. Trade unions have an important part to play in social dialogue and collective bargaining on the issue.


We have the responsibility to develop and promote remedies which can be tailored through sectoral and company collective bargaining. Work-life balance is a right that needs to be protected. We can promote healthier work culture by changing the perception that “everything is urgent”.

We can promote healthier work culture by changing the perception that “everything is urgent”.

The increased use of digital mobile tools which allows for work regardless of time and place is intricately linked to today’s rapid changes in work organisation. Workers have more flexibility and autonomy over the work they perform. However, being constantly connected can blur the boundaries between time on and off work and puts the right to disconnect under pressure. It brings challenges to work organisation and management, leading to drastic increases in ill mental health, including burn out. This affects especially professionals and managers.

Currently no legislation regulates the right to disconnect on EU level, and only four EU countries[1] have adopted such legislation. These laws are, however, not perfect and guarantee the right to certain types of workers only. In some EU countries the legislation has come to a standstill, whereas several countries have debated the issue. The increased amount of telework due to the Covid-19 pandemic will hopefully accelerate the debate and see a need for EU-wide regulation.

Read our full position here.

[1] Belgium, France, Spain, Italy.