On March 3, the annual European Day for a Work-Free Sunday, the European Sunday Alliance calls on political leaders to put as a priority on the EU social policy agenda the establishment of a European weekly common day of rest.
Work-life balance, as well as healthy, safe and well-adapted work environments, are at the heart of the European Pillar of Social Rights, which all EU institutions and Member States governments have committed to implement.
A weekly day of rest
One of the major impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the rise of telework and the fragmentation of working time, often detrimental to the work-life balance of workers. In order to prevent a work environment that compromises the health and wellbeing of workers, it is crucial to ensure a right to disconnect, during the week but also during the weekend, with a work free day. A full day of rest per week is indispensable to recover and to ensure both a better wellbeing and a better productivity of workers.
A common day of rest
Humans are social beings, and for many of them their health requires more than individual time to spend alone. The challenges of the pandemic have highlighted the issue of loneliness in the EU. A common work-free day enables families to spend time together, children with parents and grandparents, who are the first ones to suffer from loneliness. A work free day makes it also possible to pursue volunteer work, civic engagement, joint social, sports or faith-related activities, and, more generally, to strengthen the social cohesion of our communities.
By tradition and custom, most European countries establish the weekly day of rest on Sunday.
The European Sunday Alliance thus calls on European political leaders to put as a priority the establishment of a European weekly common day of rest for workers, by tradition on Sunday, as enshrined in Art. 2 of the European Social Charter.