Belgium Grants Workers A Right To 4-Day Work Week, Workers Can Ignore Their Boss After Work
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Workers in Belgium will have the option to work a 4-day work week. The option for employees is an attempt by the Belgium government to increase employment participation.
Belgium workers have the option of working a 4-day work week. However, employers can reject a request for a shorter work week, but they have to justify their decision in writing.
“Staff will also be able to request, and expect a reasoned response from employers, should they wish to change their working hours from week to week. Staff on variable hours will also be expected to know their working hours seven days ahead,” the Guardian reported.
“If you compare our country with others, you’ll often see we’re far less dynamic,” said Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. “After two difficult years, the labor market has evolved. With this agreement, we are setting the benchmarks for a good economy.”
“We have experienced two difficult years. With this agreement, we set a beacon for an economy that is more innovative, sustainable, and digital,” De Croo added. “The aim is to be able to make people and businesses stronger.”
“The Covid period forced us to work in a more flexible way,” De Croo said. “The labor market had to adapt to this.”
Another worker benefit to spark employment will be the addition of a new option of employees at companies with 20 or more workers to “disconnect” after working hours. The new worker benefit will allow employees to refuse to answer calls from their boss or respond to emails after working hours. Workers will also have the right to turn off work devices after work.
“Workers in the gig economy will also receive stronger legal protections under the new rules, while full-time employees will be able to work flexible schedules on demand,” EuroNews reported.
“This would benefit those who wish to spend more time with their children,” Labor Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne said in a statement.
The Belgium government overhauled the country’s labor laws in an effort to energize the workforce. Belgium’s government set a target of increasing the proportion in work to 80% by 2030.
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