Surely many of us have had experiences with bosses who won’t stop messaging us once we’ve left the office or logged off.
Now, employees in Belgium will not be required to answer any work-related calls from their employers after normal working hours from February 1, 2022, unless it is an emergency or an unforeseen circumstance. If it doesn’t fall under those categories, it will be considered illegal.
According to Daily Mail, federal employees will have the ‘right to disconnect’ enshrined in law and the move will be rolled out to the private sector, while a four-day working week is also on the cards due to a ‘culture change’ in Belgian businesses.
The new rules were unveiled in a letter to civil servants by Petra De Sutter, Minister of Civil Service for Belgium’s Green Party, reports ZD Net.
De Sutter believes that this change will help fight excessive work stress and burnout that employees are feeling with the positive outcome of better focus, recuperation and a more sustainable energy level, especially now that working from home has blurred the lines between our professional and social life.
The minister said: “The computer stays on, you keep reading the e-mails you receive on your smartphone… To better protect people against this, we now give them the legal right to disconnect.”
Meanwhile, Portugal has also passed a law that now makes it illegal for employers to contact any employees after working hours by phone, message or email, reports CNN.
All employers are required to respect the privacy, rest and family time of their employees as per the new law. Any violation is a serious offence that could result in a fine.