Workers in Belgium will be given the right to request a four-day week without a reduction in pay.
Under the reform, employees will be allowed to work up to 9.5 hours a day – the equivalent of 9am to 6.30pm – meaning they will be able to squash a week of work into four longer days. This could be further extended to a 10-hour day through a workplace trade union agreement.
Bosses will be able to reject the requests, but they must give “solid grounds” for doing so.
The Flemish prime minister Alexander De Croo said the pandemic has “forced us to work more flexibly and combine our private and working lives.”
The goal of these new measures is “to give people and companies more freedom to arrange their work time,” he added.
It comes after the UK government announced plans to make flexible working the default in September last year.