Belgium government discusses moving to FOUR-DAY week


The Belgian government has agreed to vote on a national introduction of a four-day working week.

The federal government will think about the proposal subsequent week in what is the most recent transfer in direction of a extra versatile working future in Europe.

A latest trial carried out in Iceland earlier this year led to virtually 9 in ten Icelandic employees renegotiating contracts with completely shortened hours.

Meanwhile, plenty of corporations in Spain are presently trialing a four-day week after a small political occasion’s proposal was accepted by the broader government late final year.  

But there are issues over the Belgium government’s plans to introduce longer working hours as a trade-off for giving staff the additional day away.

Iceland’s four-year experiment with a ‘four-day working week’ has been dubbed an ‘overwhelming success’ by researchers who need the mannequin adopted elsewhere (file picture)

While all of Belgium’s political events have agreed to focus on the proposal for a four-day week, there isn’t any intention to cut back the general variety of hours labored by staff.

Instead, the Parliament is predicted to preserve the 38-40 hours labored by full-time staff, and lengthen the prevailing working day to 9.5 hours in change for giving staff the additional time off.

This proposal units Belgium’s versatile working idea aside from these of Iceland and Spain, the place the additional time off is afforded to staff by merely reducing the variety of hours labored in a week. 

Meyrem Almaci, chief of Belgium’s Green occasion, has expressed help for the proposal, however warned that the prolonged working day have to be managed.

‘In precept, we expect [the proposal] is sweet for worker freedom, but it surely should after all be up to the worker.

‘It’s about how she or he organizes his or her life. It has to match into folks’s lives,’ stated Almaci. 

However, Belgium’s socialist commerce union is strongly opposed to the thought in accordance to DeMorgen, and as a substitute believes that full-time staff ought to merely work fewer hours a week as a substitute of prolonged the prevailing working day in change for a three-day weekend.

Mas País, a small leftwing Spanish occasion, proposed the idea of  four-day work week late final year which has led to plenty of corporations trialing the method in Spain (The chief of Mas Pais, Íñigo Errejón)

Tymo Westerlinck, an worker at Belgian automobile rental agency Dockx which has already been trialing a four-day work week with partially prolonged each day hours, was largely in help of the proposal.

‘You can perform extra plans all through the day. For instance, there is no want to rush to get the purchasing completed, and you may meet up with mates in your time off.’

But Westerlinck was cautious of the government’s proposal to lengthen the working day to 9.5 hours and stated it may pose issues for households with babies.

‘I won’t have the option to take the youngsters to faculty within the morning, or choose them up within the night,’ he informed DeMorgen.

With this in thoughts, the Icelandic method to the four-day work week continues to be favoured by many commentators.

The 4 year research, which ran from 2015-2019, included 2,500 employees throughout each private and non-private sectors – or 1 p.c of the nation’s whole workforce, and noticed employees cut back their hours from 40 down to 35 per week, unfold out throughout 4 days or a versatile 5.

They largely did this by scrapping pointless conferences, shortening espresso breaks, and moving companies on-line which allowed places of work to shut earlier.

Rajan Bajaj, founding father of Indian fintech company Slice, lately introduced his staff would take pleasure in a three-day work week on 80 p.c of full time pay

Will Stronge, director of analysis at British assume tank Autonomy, stated: ‘This research exhibits that the world’s largest ever trial of a shorter working week within the public sector was by all measures an awesome success. 

‘It exhibits that the general public sector is ripe for being a pioneer of shorter working weeks – and classes will be discovered for different governments.’

Meanwhile, a latest research carried out by British accountancy agency Theta Global Advisors of over 2000 folks discovered that greater than half (51 p.c) reported they’d seen their productiveness enhance thanks to versatile working measures launched by their employers prior to now year due to the pandemic.

Chris Biggs, Partner at Theta Global Advisors, stated: Working tradition and expectations have modified, and if approached with empathy and adaptability, will end in a far happier, extra productive workforce delivering work of a better normal than earlier than Covid-19. 

‘Employees have confirmed they are often efficient when given versatile choices or working from house, and employers want to reply to this with belief and structured flexibility approaches permitting staff to alter as crucial.’

In some corporations although, a four-day week could seem to be an excessive amount of work.

Slice, an Indian fintech company headquartered in Bangalore, lately introduced it’s providing staff the chance to take pleasure in a three-day work week on 80 p.c of full-time pay.

In a latest interview with Bloomberg, Founder of Slice Rajan Bajaj stated: ‘This is the way forward for work. People don’t desire to be tied down to a job.’

‘Workers can get wage and full advantages working a three-day week, and spend the remainder of their time chasing a startup dream, on the lookout for a co-founder or pursuing a non-work ardour.’ 

Earlier this year, Slice secured $20 million in its newest financing spherical which has enabled it to develop to a substantial measurement of 450 staff, and goals to hire 1,000 extra within the subsequent three years. 

World’s largest ever four-day working week trial in Iceland is deemed an ‘overwhelming success’ and ‘needs to be examined within the UK’ 

The world’s largest-ever trial of a ‘four-day’ working week in Iceland has been deemed an ‘overwhelming success’ as researchers name for it to be examined within the UK.

Workers had been much less careworn and had a greater work-life stability whereas bosses noticed no vital drop-off in productiveness or provision of companies, analysts stated

As a results of the experiment, which ran from 2015 to 2019, some 86 per cent of Icelandic employees have now negotiated contracts with completely shortened hours.

Will Stronge, director of analysis at British assume tank Autonomy, stated: ‘This research exhibits that the world’s largest ever trial of a shorter working week within the public sector was by all measures an awesome success.

The Icelandic experiment concerned two separate trials that originally included just some dozen public sector employees who had been members of unions.

But, because the trial progressed, it expanded to embrace 2,500 employees in each private and non-private sectors – or 1 per cent of the nation’s whole workforce.

Workers who took half within the trial stated they had been ready to organise their personal lives higher – operating errands within the afternoons or choosing up a much bigger share of home tasks.