The right to disconnect, a public health imperative

The issue of professional disconnection is closely linked to the social phenomenon of digitalisation, which allows constant contact. This trend is making its way into the world of work on a massive scale and requires concrete measures to be taken to prevent it.

On the occasion of World Wellness Day, ALEBA wishes to raise awareness among managers and employees on the right to disconnect.

 


A contemporary problem, recognized by the Economic and Social Council.

This right to disconnect was already mentioned by ALEBA in its electoral programme of the March 2019 social elections.

Digitalization allows the intrusion of work into extra-professional life. Invasion into private space is only a click away.This invasion has been identified as one of makes staff less efficient. the new factors leading to mental overload and burn-out. Telework has not mitigated the phenomenon. In addition to dangerously increasing psycho-social risks, it creates a real disequilibrium in the company and

Thus, on 30 April 2021, the ESC issued an opinion on the right to disconnect.

 

What does the law say?

In September 2021, the Luxembourg legislation issued a draft law n° 7890 which proposes to insert a right to disconnection in the Labour Code.

The project foresees an obligation for companies to set up a specific regime allowing the exercise of the right to disconnect, in addition to the general obligation for employers to “ensure the health and safety” of their employees (Article L 312-1 of the Labour Code). The scheme will have to define in concrete terms the practical arrangements for disconnection as well as raising employees’ awareness on this subject.

Finally, the draft foresees a sanction for recalcitrant companies.

ALEBA proposes that this be made concrete by means of an internal policy and the introduction of software to prevent any time overruns, so as to limit any access by employees to their professional e-mail between 8pm and 7.30am, as well as on days of rest, holidays and public holidays not worked.