Belgium’s “right to disconnect” law has officially gone into effect, keeping federal workers from being required to answer any work-related calls or emails after work hours.
The new legislation will impact 65,000 workers and will only see an exception in “the event of exceptional and unforeseen circumstances requiring action that cannot wait until the next working period.”
Petra De Sutter, Belgium’s minister for public administration, says that the measure will help combat the unreasonable expectation that workers are available at all hours of the day.
Countries across Europe have been putting forth various new laws that aim to address the changing needs of workers, as well as the problematic norms the global workforce has experienced for years. For instance, Portugal recently approved legislation that would ban employers from contacting workers outside of work hours.
The pandemic has highlighted the need for better boundaries between work and personal lives, particularly as many people continue to work from home.
Countries who understand the negative impact of these blurred lines can play a leading role in pushing against the growing number of workers reporting burnout. Not only can this help the overall wellbeing of professionals, but can help boost a country’s economy.