The right to disconnect

On April 30, 2021, the French Economic and Social Council (CES) adopted a


on the right to disconnect. Indeed, both employers and trade unions felt that it was now essential to monitor the boundary between employees’ professional and private lives, which has already been considerably impacted by the almost inescapable use of technology. The introduction of telecommuting as a result of the Covid-19 crisis has not helped the situation – quite the contrary.

It’s never been easier to access e-mails and phone calls from home, and for some people it’s hard to stop for a few days. But overwork presents major risks, both for the company (reduced productivity) and for employees (fatigue, stress, even burn-out, dependence on technology, etc.). Visit

Chambre des salariés du Luxembourg

recently noted that one in three employees is at risk of depression in 2020.

The idea of a right to disconnect appeared several years ago. in Europe and recently in Luxembourg law, since a ruling No. 58/19 of May 2, 2019 handed down by the Third Chamber of the Court of Appeal. In this case, she considered that the employee “had the right, during his leave, to disconnect and a right not to be approached at night by his hierarchical superior “. The legal framework for this right is very recent, and has only recently been codified in other EU member states: in 2017 for France and 2019 for Spain, for example. Since September 2021, the Luxembourg legislator has also expressed the wish to legislate on this subject, since a bill n° 7890 proposes to insert a right to disconnect into the Labor Code. In addition to regulating working hours and relations between employers and employees, including a general obligation for employers to “.

to ensure the health and safety

“In accordance with the French Labor Code’s article L 312-1, companies will be required to set up a specific system enabling employees to exercise their right to disconnect.

The bill is fairly faithful to the CES recommendations: each company would be obliged to set up a protection scheme based on its size, the number of employees and their use of digital tools (new article L 312-9). Among other things, the plan will have to define the practical arrangements for disconnection, as well as raising employee awareness on the subject.

Lastly, the draft provides for a penalty for recalcitrant companies that fail to meet this obligation, with an administrative fine ranging from 251 to 25,000 euros, depending on the size of the company and the seriousness of the breach (new article L 312-10).

While waiting for the vote, employees are still protected by their employer’s general obligation to ensure their safety, and above all by their right to privacy, as set out in the law of August 11, 1982.

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