The Belgian experiment: implementing the four-day working day without salary reduction


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The Minister of Economy and Labor has proposed launching a pilot experience with the objective of “working less to work better”

Pierre-Yves Dermagne, Minister of Economy
Pierre-Yves Dermagne, Minister of Economy and Labor.ERIC LALMANDAFP

The Minister of Economy and Labor of Belgium, Pierre-Yves Dermagnehas proposed launching a pilot experience to reduce the working day to four days per week and without salary reduction with the objective of “working less to work better.”

“We want to be able to analyze the benefits and difficulties of this experience of collective reduction of working time in companies from different sectors,” the minister explained in an interview. on the Belgian channel RTL information collected by Europa Press.

The Belgian Government In 2022, it already offered its workers the possibility of reducing their working hours to four days, but withoutwork fewer hoursso they had to accumulate hours worked to enjoy that day off.

However, in this case it is not about this “compression” of the day, but rather a true “collective reduction in working time”, as the minister explained.

A total of 286 companies and associations have already registered to participate in an online seminar organized byr the Belgian Federal Planning Officewhile the implementation of the pilot experience will also have the support of professors from the Ghent University.

Dermagne has indicated that his intention is to leave “the greatest possible freedom” to companies to take into account the specificities of their activity and their organization, so the Government will be “very flexible” in its organization.

Convinced that this is one of the solutions to the problems of the labor market, the minister hopes to be able to launch a “large-scale” experience to be able to learn from it in addition to offering better conditions for those more “arduous” professions.

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