News for employers

Europe is fighting for workers, demanding that they be completely excluded from work after working hours without fear of dismissal

Business calls, e-mails, messages via social networks, SMS are the ways in which employers communicate with workers even after working hours, and as an excuse for that they take the fact that workers have provided official telephones and equipment. It is not the duty of workers nor is it in their job description that employers and colleagues have to respond in their spare time but whoever does not respond usually fears that they will be greeted by the termination of the employment contract.

In Croatia, it is common for an employer to tell you: "There is someone to work for" because more than 150,000 people are constantly looking for work on the job market. The European Parliament wants to put an end to this practice. They launched an initiative to pass a European regulation that would give all workers the 'right to exclusion'.

This right would allow them not to answer business calls or answer business emails without fear of any consequences after working hours. As a rule, such additional work is not even paid, but no one is punished for such exploitation of workers. This has been a particularly sensitive topic since the world was in a pandemic because everyone who could and was made possible by employers works from home.

Such work is particularly susceptible to unregulated rules and relationships because it has increased sharply by 30 percent from the time before the pandemic. Working conditions are not fully clearly defined, so many employers use this and communicate with employees outside of working hours, give them tasks and check where they have arrived with specific plans and goals. A study by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions found that the probability of additional unpaid work for employees working from home is more than twice as high as for employees working at the employer's premises.

About five percent of workers who work in offices also work during their free time, while 30 percent of workers who work from home are also engaged when they should rest. Because of all the above, the European parliamentarians voted for a resolution calling on the European Commission to propose a regulation that will allow everyone who works from home to 'switch off' outside working hours.

For this, it is necessary to determine the minimum conditions for remote work and clarify the working conditions. More developed countries have already legally regulated the ‘right to exclusion’ such as Belgium, France, Italy and Spain.


Picture source: Unsplash

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