Malta IT Law Association organises free webinar on the Right to Disconnect

Updated on

50% discount on MITLA membership being offered to attendees

The Malta IT Law Association (MITLA) is organising a free-to-attend webinar on the Right to Disconnect taking place on 23rd March. The webinar will host a discussion on the right to disconnect that was put forward to the EU Commission by Maltese MEP Alex Agius Saliba. During the webinar, MITLA will also present its position paper which is currently being drafted.

The webinar will host a wide array of stakeholders, representatives and the general public, in order to understand better the various positions prevalent in Malta with respect to the right to disconnect. Interested parties are required to register free of charge online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/webinar-right-to-disconnect-tickets-142873012025. The webinar is of interest to anyone involved in law, IT, HR as well as employers and employees who have an interest in the right to disconnect.

Panelists will include Dr Alex Agius Saliba, the MEP responsible for pushing the proposals relating to the Right to Disconnect at EU Level, Professor Andre Xuereb, Ambassador for Digital Affairs, Dr Charlotte Camilleri, Executive in EU & Legal Affairs at the Malta Employer’s Association, and Mr JP Fabri, Economist and co-Founding Partner of Seed Consultancy.

Webinar attendees will be given the opportunity to become members of MITLA at a 50% discounted rate. Memberships are available for corporates and entities, individuals as well as students and can be accessed online at https://www.mitla.org.mt/membership/

The right to disconnect is a proposed right regarding the ability of people to disconnect from work and primarily not to engage in work-related electronic communications such as e-mails, calls or messages during non-work hours.

MITLA’s president Dr Antonio Ghio explained that the increased adoption in electronic communications and information technology tools have introduced new challenges within our working environments and what is expected from workers. More so as the country moves into its second partial lockdown, a broad discussion on the introduction of further protections to the workers against these growing realities is essential.

Dr Gege Gatt, MITLA’s Vice President also explained that MITLA embraces the principles surrounding the right to disconnect as an important step towards embracing the digital economy whilst at the same time protecting worker rights. Additionally, careful consideration should be taken when labelling a right as ‘fundamental’. Labour laws are rife with various rights granted to workers through various directives and regulations including those relating to working time, collective redundancies, part-time work conditions and others.

In January 2021 the European Parliament approved a resolution with recommendations to the EU Commission on the right to disconnect. This recognises that digitisation and digital tools have presented the paradox of productivity advantages but also giving rise to a number of ethical, legal and employment related challenges, such as intensifying work and extending working hours, thus blurring the boundaries between work and private life.

In conjunction with the positive vote achieved in the EU Parliament, MITLA considers that the position currently taken by the EU Commission, especially through the pronunciations and statements made by EU Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit during the same debate in parliament leading to the vote, should serve as the cornerstone for further explorations on the right to disconnect, discouraging one-size-fits-all solutions across Member States.

For more information, visit mitla.org.mt

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