Belgium: Obligation for employers to discuss “digital disconnection” from work
The present digitalization of work relations has launched a debate on a possible worker’s right to digital disconnection after finishing work. Against this backdrop, Belgian lawmakers recently took action to increase respect for rest periods and annual leave.
As of 9 April 2018, employers have an obligation to discuss, within the health and safety committee, digital disconnection from work with the workers’ representation. Topics that should be addressed are the impact of the use of digital communication tools (eg. smartphones, tablets) on the work-life balance.
Such discussions must take place on a regular basis, or at any time at the request of the workers’ representatives. Proposals formulated by the workers’ representation could be incorporated into the work rules or in a collective bargaining agreement.