EU Bishops Call For Nations To Protect Work-Free Sunday

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The Bishops of the European Union and the European Sunday Alliance are urging EU leaders to protect synchronized free-time, which most nations traditionally observe on Sunday According to Vatican News.

By Lisa Zengarini

Synchronised free time should be a priority in the EU social-policy agenda, according to European Bishops and other organizations.

In a joint statement published Wedneday, on the occasion of the International Day for a work-free Sunday, the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU (COMECE) and the European Sunday Alliance urged political leaders in Europe to protect synchronised free time  – in most European countries traditionally on Sundays.

“This,” they say, “is especially relevant in times where the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated existing challenges of digitalisation by intensifying work and extending working hours, thus putting a healthy work-life balance at risk for more people.”

Non-stop work

The statement notes that one of the major impacts of the pandemic lockdowns has been an acceleration of previous trends towards increasing levels of mobile and home working.

“With the rise of digital working, the fragmentation and de-limitation of working time has further proceeded. Working in the evenings and during weekends is increasingly common and indeed expected by many employers.”

The Alliance says this increases stress on workers and “affects their work-life balance” and “compromises the health and wellbeing of workers, making them not only sick in the long run but also causing increasingly more often their absence from work due to psychosocial illness for sustained periods of time.”

Day of rest

According to the network – which includes more than 100 national Sunday alliances, trade unions, employers’ organisations, civil society associations, churches and religious communities in the European Union – a full day of rest per week is indispensable to recover.

“Indeed,” they say, “a common day of rest truly increases wellbeing and brings a positive effect on health.”

“Only during a common day of rest is it possible to pursue volunteer work, civic engagement, joint social, sports or faith-related activities, family time and, more generally, to spend time together,” the statement explains.

EU Bishops also recall that “humans are social beings, and for many of them their health requires more than individual time off at scattered, random moments of the week to spend alone. A day free of work recognised by tradition or custom is therefore ‘essential to disconnect, literally and figuratively’.”

Visible improvement

The Alliance thus urges political leaders in Europe to make synchronised free time a priority, thus making “a tangible, visible and cherished improvement to the lives of citizens across Europe.”

In particular, the European network calls on the European Commission “to align its upcoming proposal for a directive on a right to disconnect with article 2 of the Council of Europe’s Social Charter which already requires ‘a weekly rest period which shall, as far as possible, coincide with the day recognised by tradition or custom in the country or region concerned as a day of rest’.”

2 Comments

  • There is only ONE DAY OF REST. It was written on stone with God’s finger and it stands FOREVER.
    The Fourth Commandment
    REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY TO KEEP IT HOLY.
    SIX DAYS SHALL YOU LABOR AND DO ALL YOUR WORK .
    BUT THE SEVENTH DAY IS THE SABBATH OF THE LORD THY GOD , IN IT YOU SHALT NOT DO ANY WORK , NOT YOUR SON, NOT YOUR DAUGHTER ,NOT YOUR SERVANTS NOT YOUR STRANGERS THAT IS WITH YOU
    FOR IN SIX DAYS THE LORD (our God ) MADE THE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH THE SEA AND ALLLLL THAT IS IN THEM ( HE our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ created everything)
    AN RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY WHEREAS THE LORD BLESSED THE SABBATH DAY AND HOLY IT.
    A day is coming when you have to TRULY MAKE A DECISION on who you stand for…….. the God that made the Heaven and the earth and worship on the SEVENTH Day (Saturday)……….or Satan the Devil, the deceiver and worship him on his false day of rest the First ( Sunday )……

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