Brussels civil servants to keep teleworking into June

Brussels civil servants to keep teleworking into June
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Brussels-Capital Region will keep staff teleworking until early June and will also make working from home a normal component of the regular working week even after the pandemic starts receding.

Brussels' civil services minister, Sven Gatz, said that staff working in public services who can accomplish their work tasks from home will continue teleworking until at least 8 June.

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While telework was forced upon companies in the light of the efforts to slow down the coronavirus pandemic, Gatz said that that form of working had "proved its worth" and promoted a better work-life balance, according to Bruzz.

"Telework has not revealed any irreparable disadvantages for the public services in recent months," he said.

Therefore, the regional minister also said that public employees of the Brussels-Capital Region who wish to continue working from home even after the pandemic will be able to do so for at least a few days each week.

"Because it allows them to find a better balance between work and leisure," Gatz said, adding that after the summer period, staffers would be allowed to work from home on to two days per week on a structural basis."

Public servants working for regional offices will be able to return to the workplace from 8 June under strict hygiene and social-distancing rules.

Employers must provide staff with face masks, since their use is mandatory in public transport, and they must also ensure office arrangements allow for appropriate social distancing.

Additional measures also include the setting up of plexiglass to isolate employees from each other and minimise risks of viral transmission.

But in order to ease public transport flows, regional authorities will continue to encourage working from home for all workers whose functions allow it.

In April, a poll by a human resources firm found that 90% of respondents wanted to continue working from home even after the crisis was over. Another poll conducted in mid-May found that a similarly high number (84%) held the same opinion.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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