A four-day working week sounds like a dream in New Zealand. And now that we’ve caught wind of the fact Belgium, a country in Europe, is putting the concept into law. Excitingly, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern already considered it for New Zealand.
Indeed, for the good people of Belgium, the five-day week could become a thing of the past, as law now gives employees the option to work only four days a week. Certainly, this brings even more flexibility to the world of work than the pandemic did.
Employees will be able to work the same number of hours as before, but spread over four days in order to gain the fifth day off. This will also lead to no reduced pay. Workers can ask to change to this way of working for six months, with a view to making the switch permanent if it proves successful for them, or move back to five days.
To do this, employees must submit a request to their employers. If refused, companies must justify their response in writing. Plus, the introduction of “disconnect” outside work hours, meaning workers for companies with 20+ employees are under no obligation to answer work emails or calls when not working.
Definitely, this four-day working week could be the boost staff need after two years of the pandemic.
Words by Jack Saddler, edited by Megan Zara Walsh.