The Belgium government recently agreed on introducing a series of reforms aimed at boosting private sector employees’ work-life balance. The most notable changes include the option for employees to ask their employers for a four-day workweek as well as the right to disconnect. Once a draft bill outlining and explaining the new measures is introduced, it will enter into effect after it is passed by the Belgium parliament. This process will likely take months and may alter current provisions.
With the rise of technology, work from home has been a steadily growing trend for many years. Remote working has exploded since spring 2020 with quarantines, workplace closures and lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, at least for jobs and industries that do not always require workers to be on-site.
This abrupt worldwide shift to remote work sparked new logistical and structural legal challenges that warranted many countries to pass teleworking legislation, some of which is summarized in this article.
New teleworking legislation varies widely across the countries. While some countries introduced their first teleworking general legal framework, other countries passed more detailed measures. This article will only cover permanent teleworking legislation that has entered into effect since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. Temporary COVID-19 related measures, as well as proposed legislation not yet passed as of the publication of this article, will not be addressed.
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As of 1 January 2018, bonuses paid to employees as warrants or options, that do not exceed 20 percent of total gross earnings, are exempt from employer and employee social security contributions.