Belgian trade unions have concluded a new nationwide agreement setting out the rules for teleworking during the Covid-19 crisis until the end of 2021 and consolidating some workers’ rights.
The agreement, approved by employers’ organisations and the country’s National Labour Council, provides a framework for negotiations in companies or industries that do not have existing collective agreements on teleworking.
It states that teleworkers’ rights and obligations should be the same as in the workplace, or they should be informed of any changes. They are free to organise their work time, respecting their hours and workloads. Employers should set out terms and conditions for providing equipment, covering expenses and monitoring performance. Workers’ wellbeing is an important aspect of the deal, with employers – in consultation with trade unions - required to draw up policies to protect teleworkers from health and psychosocial risks, and to maintain communication links so as to combat problems of isolation, for example by organising ‘return-to-the-office’ moments.
Image by Alterio Felines