Belgium's Federal Government confirmed on Friday that it will soon be getting rid of the country's short-term sick note obligation, which requires employees to provide proof of their illness with a doctor's note.
The Government sees this as a move to get rid of unnecessary paperwork (something that would be welcome in other administrative departments) but employers unions are up in arms, warning of an endemic of "Monday morning sickness". But is this just fearmongering or can employees really not be trusted to take their roles seriously?
With the nightlife sector going into overdrive to make up for Covid-induced losses and pleasant weather being an irresistible lure to head for the great outdoors, there is certainly the temptation to let the good times roll – even into the final hours of the weekend, should you choose.
On my evening balade around central Brussels, the general reluctance to call it a night was plain to see, perhaps even persuasive for those intent on eking out festivities. I wouldn't be surprised if many woke up this morning a little frayed around the edges...
Then again, requiring a note from a GP when staff will in most cases be genuinely unwell reveals a lack of trust between bosses and their teams. Perhaps the surest way for employers to guard against spikes in absenteeism is to move away from this rather antagonistic hierarchy and come down to the level of their employees.
Boosting team cohesion and promoting an attitude of respect rather than dominance must surely be an aim of most employers. Because being empathetic and cutting some slack often pays dividends in the long term.
How did you feel this morning? Let @Orlando_tbt know.
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