Government promotes disconnection to prevent burnout among workers
Remaining connected to the office 24/7 and being contactable at all hours exposes people to serious health risks. This year, the government introduced a new law to combat this problem and help reduce the risk of burnout.
1 in 8 Belgian workers rate their work-life balance as problematic. One of the main causes is the expectation of constant connectivity via email and mobile, even outside standard work hours.
A new law has been passed that requires employers to regularly meet with their workforce to discuss the organisation’s policy on digital communication tools.
These meetings should cover topics such as giving workers more freedom to disconnect, and deciding on the exact hours during which workers should or should not remain contactable.
Employers are required to organise such meetings with the Committee for Prevention and Protection in the Workplace whenever requested by their employees. Any agreements or arrangements made during these meetings can then be incorporated in the employee policy manual or a collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
The government also wants to encourage employers to develop and run specific burnout prevention programmes. However, these initiatives are voluntary. Employers who wish to get actively involved in such projects can submit their plan of action to the National Labour Council and apply for financial support.
- As an employer, you are required to regularly meet with your workforce to discuss the use of digital communication tools within your organisation. You are free to determine the exact measures your organisation will be implementing to help workers disconnect more frequently.
- You are not required to develop and run a burnout prevention programme, but if you do, then you may be eligible to receive up to €8,000 in financial support from the government
(Re)evaluate your digital communications policy
Stress caused by hyper-connectivity and burnout can have a serious impact on the health and well-being of your workers. Mensura can help your organisation develop a policy to effectively manage email communications and smartphone use. Contact us for more information.