Belgium’s decision to scrap the need for a sick note for (most) people when they take 1 day off ill has lead to some animated debate on the matter.
Many bosses voiced their fears that this would trigger an epidemic of Monday morning absences after a big weekend. It should be noted, however, that for those working in SMEs (a business with 250 or fewer staff), employers can still ask for doctor’s proof of your illness.
But isn’t it a shame that we automatically assume that people will abuse a system intended to make life a bit simpler when you’re sick?
It seems that a basic level of trust is lacking among some employers who warned that the reform would spark a “Monday morning sickness” trend.
That’s not great.
Do people sometimes pull sick days even when they’re not physically ill? Sure, but that doesn’t always mean they didn’t need to take a day for their health, and removing the need for a doctors note makes that easier to manage.
Hell, even just staying off because you think you’re getting sick is smart. To use a phrase borrowed from various realms of pop culture, it’s ok to just “need a day”.
At least for many people, this change makes that easier and without the requirement to track down a sick note. Want the ins and outs? Lauren Walker has you covered.
So what do you think? Does this spell the end of the work week as we know it? Or does it give a modicum of flexibility that might be beneficial to all? Let @johnstonjules know.
BUT WAIT, one last thing: Want news from The Brussels Times in your inbox every morning? Sign up for The Recap, a free daily newsletter containing all the stories you need to know from the day before. It goes great with your morning coffee.
Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:
Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) is looking to reform the favourable tax regime for expats in an effort to balance the country’s budget, according to reporting from De Standaard. Read more.
Young people aged between 18 and 20 living in the European Union and the United Kingdom will be given the chance to receive one of 60,000 free travel passes to discover the EU by train. Here’s how.
People in the most precarious situations will also benefit from a reduction of €80 to €100. Read more.
Brussels MP Nicole Bomele (Défi) could lose her parliamentary immunity as a result of an incident two years ago when she struck a pedestrian with her car. Read More.
The Flemish Care and Health Agency has asked the region’s vaccination centres to be ready to administer a third vaccine dose to the entire adult population despite no medical advice yet being issued for such a measure. Read more.
A decrease in the number of accidents involving Brussels public transport operator STIB’s trams was recorded in 2020 for the fifth consecutive year. Read more.
The tea has been cultivated by Raf Rombouts from Loenhout (in the province of Antwerp near the Dutch border) since February, according to the Flemish infocentre for agriculture and horticulture (VILT). Read more.