We’ll admit it; the four-day working week gets romanticised a lot on Secret London, so we were pretty pleased to hear that the UK plans to undergo its own trial later this year.
And now, we’ve caught wind of the fact that one of our neighbours across the pond are putting the concept into law. For the good people of Belgium, the five-day week could become a thing of the past, as law now gives workers the option to work four day weeks.
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 or 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.
Among the other reforms in the bill passed for Belgium on Tuesday included strengthened rights for courier drivers, meaning companies like Uber Eats and Deliveroo cannot claim their drivers are self-employed, unless this is requested by the employee.
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.
Now, it’s just back to hoping the trial for the UK all goes well.