MEP welcomes government plan for ‘right to disconnect’ law

Labour MEP Alex Agius Saliba hails government talks aimed at recognizing right to ‘digitally disconnect’

The Labour MEP Alex Agius Saliba has welcomed government’s intention of introducing a legislation aimed at legally enforcing the right to disconnect.

A report on employment and social policies to recognize the right to “digitally disconnect” in the euro-area authored by Saliba, was met with overwhelming support.

The right to switch off, sometimes called the ‘right to disconnect’, refers to a worker’s right to be able to disconnect from work and refrain from engaging in work-related electronic communications, such as emails or other messages, during non-work hours.

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Carmelo Abela said last week that government plans to make Malta the first European member state to introduce such legislation.

“These legal regulations will introduce more flexibility for employers and workers themselves while also benefiting our country’s economic competitiveness,” Abela told a meeting of the General Workers’ Union (GWU).

Agius Saliba said government’s commitment augurs well, and looks forward to engaging in further discussions with the Government in the coming months.

“There must be a general right to disconnection at a European level that clarifies and strengthens the right of workers to disconnect from a work-related device and not respond to a request without facing adverse consequences,” Agius Saliba said in a statement.

The first vote on the Right to Disconnect legislation as proposed by the MEP is expected to be held in the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs on 1 December 2020.

READ ALSO: Labour MEP says right to disconnect should cover all workers using digital tool

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