People in Belgium could soon choose a four-day working week

Belgium’s government has approved the notion of a four-day working week, giving employees access to a flexible working schedule.

After successful trials in multiple countries including Scotland, New Zealand and Iceland, Belgium is likely to be the next nation to embrace a four-day working week.

But that’s not the only reform the government hopes to put in place, with further proposals to make it illegal for bosses to punish an employee for ignoring their emails or messages after hours.

See, look at how happy all these people are! | Credit: Getty Images

Trials have shown that a four-day week can positively affect the productivity of workers, while improving their mental health and overall wellbeing.

In a press conference, Belgium’s prime minister, Alexander de Croo explained his reasoning behind the proposals, “We have experienced two difficult years. With this agreement, we set a beacon for an economy that is more innovative, sustainable and digital. The aim is to be able to make people and businesses stronger.”

Gig economy workers will also benefit from the reforms, providing greater legal protection to independent contractors.

It could take a few months for the changes to be legally instated, as drafts of the law must still be approved over multiple readings.

It’s just a shame that shorter working weeks aren’t spreading as fast as the pandemic.