SCECBU welcomes new measures requested by the ECB

Following the outcome of the COVID 19 staff survey, the Executive Board of the ECB asked ECB management to promote a number of working norms to enhance the work life balance of ECB staff, also focusing on meeting and email culture. To ensure that these measures are as effective as possible when implemented in practice in the SSM, the ECB  believes it is necessary to promote a consistent implementation across all its DGs. To that end the ECB ask that all of the staff adhere to the following good practices:

• Meetings should only be scheduled Monday – Thursday after 9am and ending by 18:00 and on Friday morning from 09:00 until 12:00 (thus ensuring a meeting free Friday afternoon). There should be a meeting free period each day over lunch from 12:00 – 14:00.  


• Email traffic should be restricted to Monday to Friday from 8am until 19:00. The additional hour relative to the meetings window would ensure that there is time to work on emails before and after the meeting cycle starts and ends each day. There should be no email traffic on the weekend. For emails outside of these hours, the “delay delivery” function in Outlook could be used. 


The ECB thinks that the consistent implementation of these guidelines can play a significant role in enhancing the work-life balance for all of its staff, especially if accompanied by a more focused and efficient meeting and email culture (for example, in the case of meetings, instead of the standard 1,5 hour, one hour and a quarter; instead of the 1 hour, 50 minutes; and instead of the standard half hour, 25 minutes, etc.).

The SCECBU welcomes these new standards decided by the ECB and calls on the ESCB as a whole to make them a common policy within all central banks.

We invite all trade unions where the right to disconnect is not yet evident in some central banks to communicate to their management new decisions dictated by the ECB and which are going in the right direction!