Blog Business Entertainment Environment Health Latest News News Analysis Opinion Science Sports Technology World
Belgium's New Initiative

 


Belgium recently proposed the Right to Disconnect in the civil services division of their country. It will be implemented from the 1st of February 2022. This was done to reduce burning out of the employees and to increase meaningful productivity.


Under the said human right, the civil services bosses of the country are banned from contacting any employee after working hours, except for during emergencies or otherwise “exceptional” circumstances. The right only applies to the federal civil servants of the country now. The private sector is expected to eventually follow suit.


Where Does This Come From?


The concept of the right to disconnect was introduced in 2001 in the Labor Chamber of the French Supreme Court, France. It prevented the employers from letting go of employees for not replying to work calls or emails after work hours. Soon after, multiple European countries followed suit.


Germany did not initially have a law to officially follow this, but they have been practicing keeping their work and leisure lives separate for much longer than the rest of the world.


Ireland implemented a new code of practice in April 2021. It allowed the employees to completely disconnect from work after working hours and to have an uninterrupted personal life. It also prevented the employers from using the disconnect of employees as grounds for penalizing them.


Portugal was one of the first countries to act against contacting employees post work. They issued fines against employers that did not follow the new guidelines. They made it compulsory for all companies with ten or more employees to minimize the contact after working hours.


In addition to the above countries, many other countries including Italy, Slovakia, Philippines, and Canada also introduced laws to safeguard the employees from excessive stress.


Effect on Productivity of Employees


Working or thinking about work all hours of the day caused stress to employees and affected their personal life in a negative manner. Sailing in two boats at a time, the employees could neither perform to their highest potential nor enjoy while being off duty because their mind was never in one place.


Due to the introduction of such acts, the productivity of organizations and its employees increased substantially. It promoted the well-being of the employees and resulted in them focusing better and maintaining a better sustainable energy level. Belgium has also reduced the work week to five days, further reducing the workload.


In today’s digital era and owing to the “work from home” culture introduced by COVID19, the lines between work and leisure have blurred more than ever. This right aims to combat that effect and increase productivity ultimately.


While there are a lot of merits to this, the Belgian law does not explicitly specify the “emergencies” or “exceptional” circumstances which makes it vulnerable to loopholes.


Should This Be Implemented in a Country Like India?


In developing countries like India where manpower is abundant and jobs are limited, most employees are easily replaced. So, it becomes a necessity for the employees to continuously perform exceptionally and show their worth to “survive”.


In 2019, the Right to Disconnect bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Smt. Supriya Sule, an MP from NCP. It was not passed, continuing the tradition since 1970.


Despite the merits, a bill like this is considered “useless” in a country like India. Perhaps it was time that we adopted healthy practices like these from the west which result in increased productivity.


There is a reason why countries like Denmark and Italy have one of the highest livability indexes and the Right to Disconnect is one of them owing to the balance and peace of mind it provides.



Share This Post On

Tags: mental health belgium employee rights workers high productivity burning out of employees right to disconnect



0 comments

Leave a comment


You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in
TheSocialTalks was founded in 2020 as an alternative to mainstream media which is fraught with misinformation, disinformation and propaganda. We have a strong dedication to publishing authentic news that abides by the principles and ethics of journalism. We are a not-for-profit organisation driven by a passion for truth and justice in society.

Our team of journalists and editors from all over the world work relentlessly to deliver real stories affecting our society. To keep our operations running, we depend on support in the form of donations. Kindly spare a minute to donate to support our writers and our cause. Your financial support goes a long way in running our operations and publishing real news and stories about issues affecting us. It also helps us to expand our organisation, making our news accessible to more everyone and deepening our impact on the media.

Support fearless and fair journalism today.


Related