Employment minister expresses frustration at lack of teleworking provision

Employment minister expresses frustration at lack of teleworking provision
Credit: PxHere

Belgium's Federal Employment Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne (PS) expressed his impatience on Wednesday at the lack of agreement between social partners on the organisation of teleworking in the private sector.

With the number of Belgians working from home having almost doubled since 2018, Dermagne had sought to reach an agreement on an allowance granted to private sector employees working remotely. This would be all the more valuable when energy bills are taken into account, making working from home an additional drain on household budgets.

Public sector employees receive an allowance of €50 if they work remotely four days a month. Yet this is not the case in the private sector where teleworking arrangements are agreed by company collective labour agreements.

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As highlighted by the Federal Government's latest 'Jobs Deal' labour reform, employment must adapt to the needs of the twenty-first century.

To this end, Dermagne expressed his dissatisfaction at current teleworking arrangements in the private sector: "It is already two years since we urged social partners to amend their labour agreements to account for more teleworking. But social partners are making little progress."

The minister hoped that a solution will be found before November, adding that "it should not be normal for employees to bear the costs of working."

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