Employees in Belgium will soon be allowed to choose a four-day workweek, thanks to important labour reforms announced this week by the country’s coalition government.
Aside from not having to adhere to a Monday-Friday work schedule, employees are permitted to turn off their work devices nor will they be required to reply to any sort of work-related emails or messages after hours.
While announcing the reform package, Belgian prime minister Alexander de Croo told a press conference, “We have experienced two difficult years. With this agreement, we set a beacon for an economy that is more innovative, sustainable and digital. The aim is to be able to make people and businesses stronger.”
A substantial chunk of Belgium’s recent labour regulations affect employees’ work-life balance in both the public and private sectors. Employees will be able to seek a four-day week under a reform plan agreed upon by the country’s federal government.
A government spokesperson confirmed to a European news agency that employees would be able to ask to work four days a week for a period of six months. After that, they could choose to continue the arrangement or return to a five-day week with no negative consequences.
Creating a ‘Work-Life’ balance
Citing work-life balance, civil officials in Belgium’s federal government were granted the freedom to disconnect earlier this year, allowing them to switch off work gadgets and ignore communications after hours without fear of repercussions from superiors.
All Belgian workers, even those in the private sector, will now have access to the same benefits.
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