In Belgium, government employees no longer have to answer phone calls or e-mails made by senior officials after the end of their daily work hours. Under a new law, about 75,000 government workers in the country have the right to have their work cut off from their personal lives. The law has been in force in the country since last Tuesday. This information has been known from the report of NPR, the US media.
Belgium’s Minister of Public Administration Petra Du Suta wrote in a letter that the law was enacted to reduce the extra workload of government employees.
Under the new rules, employees working under the central government can no longer be contacted from the office after the end of working hours. However, if the situation is such that it is not possible to wait until the next day’s working hours start, then there will be an exception. The special situations will be decided by the managers of the union and the organization. However, De Suta said the organization must be respectful of the families of the workers, ensuring their rest and vacation.
According to the new rules, no employee can be punished if they do not answer the phone call of their superiors after the end of working hours or if they do not read the work message sent by them.
Many are joining the work force from home after the Corona epidemic began in Belgium. This trend may continue in the future. In such a situation, new rules have been issued to ensure that their personal life is not affected by their career.
Statistics from BDO International Belgium show that 64% (40% of managers) say they want to work from home two or more days a week after the epidemic ends. They have proposed to talk about the crisis of transportation. These workers think that it will increase production. But Public Administration Minister De Suta also sees the downside.
De Suta said, ‘In this case, you have to keep the computer on all the time, you have to read the e-mails coming in the smartphone all the time. We are giving the people the legal right to be isolated to get rid of it. ”
The BBC reports that although the move is aimed at protecting workers’ fundamental rights, De Suta does not want the flexibility that workers seek to be hampered at work.
Lawrence Tearlink, a spokesman for Belgium’s Union Labor Minister, told The Brussels Times that preparations were under way for the rule to be implemented in the private sector as well.
The Guardian reports that Belgium’s central government is considering a four-day working week for full-time workers. In this case, the total working hours can be increased from 36 hours to 40 hours.
In recent years, some European countries have adopted similar rules in an effort to strike a balance between career and personal life. Earlier last year, Portugal banned sending text messages to employees after the end of working hours.
A spy cam was found in a women’s bathroom at the Australian embassy in Bangkok, the Thai capital. The news agency AFP reported this information.
A former staffer at the Australian embassy in Bangkok has been charged with possession of multiple spy cameras in the women’s bathroom at the mission, a Canberra official said on Saturday.
The Australian Government’s Foreign and Trade Department has confirmed that Royal Thai police arrested a former local embassy staffer last month.