The desire to spend less time at work and to spend more time for yourself or your family is about to become a reality for some Europeans.
Belgium earlier announced that thousands of federal civil servants can refuse to answer work-related calls or emails outside of working hours, as the country looks to boost the life quality of Belgium workers. About 65,000 workers have earned ‘the right to disconnect’ to maintain a better work-life balance.
As per a new employee-empowerment policy, workers in Belgium will be privileged to a four-day workweek. Workers will also have the right to turn off work devices and ignore work-related messages after hours without having the fear of retribution.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo announced the reform package with a goal to make people and businesses of Belgium stronger. He hopes to set a beacon for the economy that is more innovative, sustainable and digital. Belgian labor minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne revealed that the decision lies with the worker.
Employees will be able to request a four-day workweek trial for a six-month period. The worker can make a decision to stay with the shortened workweek or to opt out. Belgium’s 4-day workweek is unlike what other countries have implemented. The countries will strip away one day of the workweek without having people to put in more hours during the other four days.
Belgium’s program would shorten the five-day week into four days, meaning the worker will have to maintain a 38-hour working week with an additional day off. Employees will work longer hours for each of the four days.
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