Belgium Approves 4-Day Work Week

February 16, 2022

In an effort to raise the employment rate and make businesses stronger, Belgium has approved new labor laws — which includes a four-day work week.

Belgium 4 day work week

Workers in Belgium will soon be able to choose a four-day week without a loss of salary. The reform package will also give workers the right to turn off work devices and ignore work-related messages after hours without fear of reprisal.

Belgium's prime minister, Alexander De Croo, said the goal of the labor market reforms is to create a more dynamic and productive economy.

"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," he said.

In addition to three-day weekends, workers will also be able to request variable work schedules.

"This would benefit those who wish to spend more time with their children," said Labor Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne, adding that the proposals would be especially helpful for divorced or separated parents who share custody of their children.

Four-day working weeks were trialed in Iceland between 2015 and 2019, and it has since become the choice of 85% of the country's working population, The Guardian reports.

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