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Right to digital disconnection from work

Right to digital disconnection from work

Now Spain is following in the footsteps of France and there is already in Congress a non-law proposal to implement this right of workers, as a result of new technologies.

Law 2020/1088, of August 8, 2020, better known as Loi travail, which establishes, among other measures, that companies implement technological systems that limit or prevent workers from accessing the work area through electronic devices outside of their working hours, already entered into force in France on January 1, 2020.

This Law, which directly affected the French Labor Code, is applicable to all French companies, who must implement a policy of worker disconnection.

What was sought with this new measure in France was prevent the worker from continuing to carry out tasks related to their work after the end of their working day, for example, through the company's mobile, or answering work emails.

Now Spain has decided to follow in the footsteps of the neighboring country.

We already commented on this blog about France's decision to approve by law the right of workers to disconnect from work in the digital sphere.

In the footsteps of France

The Ministry of Employment and Social Security is studying the possibility of creating a new law to recognize this right to digital disconnection, which has been put on the table of Congress through a non-law proposal presented by the PSOE.

The news has jumped after the response sent by the Executive to the PDeCAT deputy Carles Campuzano when asking whether the Government planned to recognize this right through a regulation, as has happened in the last labor reform in France. Said answer goes like this:

"The Secretary of State for Employment is studying the possibility of a regulation that recognizes the right of workers to‘ digital disconnection ’from their company, once their working day is over."

This response has been confirmed by the Minister of Employment and Social Security, Fátima Báñez, who has declared that she is going to implement the right of workers to digitally disconnect from work once their working day is over.

Although it has already been qualified by the Minister of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda, Álvaro Nadal, that the regulation of digital disconnection outside working hours it will not be done immediatelyInstead, this measure must have a "high technical level" to calculate the effects of its implementation. For this, it will be necessary to have a group of experts.

It is expected that by the end of this legislature a doctrinal body on digital rights will be prepared.

A mandatory disconnection?

Although the right to digital disconnection from work is regulated in our country, it is evident that deep down, it will be just an option, which will depend on the company and the worker himself.

At present there are several options to "extend" the working day, such as the possibility of working overtime, the inclusion of full availability clauses in contracts, or compensation for hours.

The problem is that normally this extra time that workers spend outside the office is not regulated.

The implementation of this right to disconnect does not mean that the employer must necessarily dispense with the services of their employees outside of working hours, or that they cannot access a digital platform that connects them to work if they want, but it is obviously it will be necessary regulate this type of situation, since the worker has the right to know exactly when his working day begins and when it ends.

We already predicted in this blog that the French law would be a benchmark for Spain, but also that it would be more difficult for it to be fulfilled here, given the deep crisis the country has gone through, and the fear that still exists among workers to lose Your job.

For now, we will have to wait the entire legislature to see some serious normative proposal.


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