Belgian workers are given the right to not have to pick up the phone from their boss when they are done with their work
right to disconnect' that can refuse to respond to contacts outside working hours has been applied to civil servants.
Many people say, 'I'm depressed when I get a phone call or email from my workplace even after I get home or on holidays.' In particular, it is said that after the spread of remote work due to the outbreak of a pandemic, the boundary between workers' work and private life became ambiguous. Meanwhile, in Belgium, the '
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Petra de Zutter, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Services of Belgium, said on January 4, 2022, 'From February 1, national civil servants will be disadvantaged even if they do not respond to non-working hours. There is no such thing. ' 'In the fight against overworked stress and burnout, it was necessary to institutionalize the right to disconnect of about 65,000 government officials,' said De Zutter.
The Circular also stipulates that workplace managers can still call staff during non-working hours in the event of an 'urgent, exceptional and unforeseen situation.' It is said that this is aimed at re-defining contact after hours that was not clearly stated. This meant that government agencies had to conclude an agreement with the union before calling staff overtime.
The federal government is also considering a plan to shift full-time employees from five to four days a week. With the introduction of the four-day week system, instead of increasing working hours from 38 hours a week to 40 hours a week, you will be able to rest three days a week.
Professor Lode Godderis, a professor of occupational medicine at the University of Ruven in Belgium, said, 'The Belgian government's announcement is a step forward, but we need a'true change', not just civil servants. We have to allow the necessary breaks, and then it will be important to form an agreement on flexibility and communication within the workplace, 'he said, expanding his rights beyond civil servants. He said that it should be done.
In response to these voices, Belgium is working to apply the same right to disconnect to private companies, and a spokesman for the Minister of Economy and Labor, Pierre Yves Dermanu, told the media, 'The bill is coming soon. It will be officially announced. '
In Europe, where the right to disconnect is rapidly spreading, Portugal outlawed 'sending emails outside of working hours' in November 2021 before Belgium.
'Sending emails outside working hours' becomes illegal --GIGAZINE
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