Belgium to pilot four-day working week
The Belgian Federal Planning Bureau will conduct a four-day working week pilot study in 2024. The study will examine the effects of reducing the working week to 32 hours without loss of pay.
The pilot study was commissioned by the country's minister for the Economy and Employment, Pierre-Yves Dermagne, and will be carried out with Ghent University.
There has been renewed interest in collectively reducing working hours since the Covid-19 pandemic, the Planning Bureau said. A four-day week has already been tested in Sweden, Iceland, the UK, Spain, Portugal, Germany, New Zealand, Australia and the United States.
The study will monitor and support companies that introduce a four-day week without loss of pay for six months
The results of previous studies have been "very positive" but difficult to generalise, according to the Planning Bureau. Pilot studies have shown that the introduction of a four-day week increases productivity and improves wellbeing while maintaining a company's overall performance.
The Belgian pilot study will monitor and support companies that introduce a four-day week without loss of pay for six months. The aim is to objectify and better understand the effects of reducing working hours on aspects such as employee wellbeing, productivity and the financial balance of companies.
Companies participating in the pilot study can receive scientific and financial support. Private companies interested in participating in the study can find more information at www.4dayweek.be.
© PHOTO CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT / AFP