Belgium's Minister of Economy and Labour, Pierre-Yves Dermagne, has proposed launching a pilot experiment to reduce working hours to four days a week and without a reduction in pay with the aim of "working less to work better".
"We want to be able to analyse the benefits and difficulties of this experience of collective reduction of working time in companies from different sectors," the minister explained in an interview on the Belgian channel RTL, information collected by Europa Press.
In 2022, the Belgian government already offered its workers the possibility of reducing their working hours to four days, but withoutworking fewer hours, so that they had to accumulate hours worked to enjoy that day off.
However, in this case it is not a question of this "compression" of the working day, but of a real "collective reduction of working time", as explained by the minister.
A total of 286 companies and associations have already registered to participate in an online seminar organised by theBelgian Federal Planning Office, while the implementation of the pilot will also be supported by professors from the University of Ghent.
Dermagne has pointed out that his intention is to leave "as much freedom as possible" to companies to take into account the specificities of their activity and their organization, so the Government will be "very flexible" in its organization.
Convinced that this is one of the solutions to the problems of the labour market, the minister is confident that he will be able to implement a "large-scale" experience in order to learn from it as well as offer better conditions for the most "arduous" professions.