Prime Minister Alexander De Croo

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo © BELGA

The core cabinet reached an agreement on Friday about the so-called labor deal. That deal had been on the shelf for months, but only now is there an agreement on all the details. Measures have been knocked off to make working more flexible for employees and employers. “These measures bring our way of working in line with today’s reality and should prepare us for tomorrow.

jvh, hhSource: BELGA

The Vivaldi coalition already agreed on a labor deal in October last year, which would include a four-day work week, additional training for employees, better protection for platform workers, more flexible evening work for e-commerce and the right to disconnect. Earlier this year, the government reached an agreement on the concrete implementation of that deal. But within the government, it backfired again after incoherent advice from the social partners. The liberals and Christian Democrats accused the authorized minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne (PS) of taking the advice to adjust the labor deal in favor of the employees.

After a month of additional talks in the government, a final deal has been reached. The concrete measures in themselves have not changed. An employee will in the future being able to do five days of work in four days and can decide to work less one week and more the next week† There will also be a right to disconnect: the right to be offline. Timetables may no longer be communicated at the last minute be given to the employee.

All platform workersjust think of the bicycle couriers, will be insured against accidents at workeven when they are independent. There will be a for employees individual training entitlement of five days per year† And anyone who loses their job can start working for another company during their notice period via a transition trajectory

What the e-commerce As far as concerns are concerned, the government is creating the possibility to allow evening work in companies through pilot projects. The trade unions are given a role in the start-up of these projects and in the evaluation. In addition, the temporary system whereby evening work was possible via a collective labor agreement will be clicked into place after approval by one union.

“The measures have a dual purpose,” said Minister of Labor Pierre-Yves Dermagne. “On the one hand, adapting our way of working to the reality of the 21st century, and on the other hand working towards the ambition to reach an employment rate of 80% by 2030. Without strong measures to increase well-being at work and strengthen employees’ competences, we will not get there.”

Dermagne insists that some things have changed in the original chord. This concerns details, such as the fact that the five training days per year are counted in hours and not in days. According to other ministers, “no major things have changed”.

COMMENTARY. “While the labor market is about to explode, the government is getting no further than fumbling in the margins” (+)

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