Belgium Approves Four-Day Work Week and Right to Disconnect: A Landmark Labor Reform

Chris Lawson March 8, 2024

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Empowering Workers with Flexibility

Belgium has taken a pioneering step towards reshaping the dynamics of the modern workplace by approving a series of labor market reforms that include the option for workers to choose a four-day work week and the right to ignore work-related messages after hours. These groundbreaking changes are aimed at enhancing the work-life balance of employees, providing stronger legal protections for gig economy workers, and fostering innovation, sustainability, and digitalization in the economy.

One of the most significant aspects of Belgium's labor market reforms is the introduction of the four-day work week. Under these new regulations, employees will have the right to request a condensed workweek, working four days instead of five, for a period of six months. Importantly, employers will be required to provide solid reasons for refusing such requests, but employees will not face negative consequences if they choose to revert to a traditional five-day workweek after the trial period. This approach aims to offer flexibility to workers while ensuring they are not locked into an arrangement that may not suit them in the long term.

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