Over 70% of Belgians want to radically reduce their working hours

Over 70% of Belgians want to radically reduce their working hours
Credit: Belga

More than 70% of Belgians are looking for a way to drastically reduce the hours they work post coronavirus, a new study has shown.

Conducted by the Catholic University of Leuven (UCLouvain) in collaboration with the University of Saint-Louis and the Socialist Centre for Continuing Education (CESEP), the study showed that 73% of Belgians support a radical reduction in working hours in the period following the coronavirus epidemic.

The study also looked at the broader impact of coronavirus on employment, and situations throughout the country. Of those asked, 90% to want change in terms of employment in some capacity.

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Nine out of ten Belgians saw at least one advantage to teleworking, particularly in terms of travel, flexible working hours and combining work with family obligations. While 63% of the workers experienced changes in their working conditions during the confinement period, these various changes were a source of new difficulties for 93% of them.

For 41% of the women who responded to the survey, the combination of their job and family responsibilities was a source of greater fatigue, compared with 31% of the male respondents. At a time of deconfinement, no less than 73% of Belgians also claim to support a radical reduction in working time.

According to the results of researchers from the two universities and the CESEP, 32% of Belgians report losing part of their income, with many of these being low-income earners and young people. Conversely, 50% of the respondents saw their expenses fall more than their income.

Hit hard by the economic repercussions of the health crisis, 73% of atypical workers, such as temporary workers and the self-employed, report having lost all or part of their wages during the containment period.

Finally, “for 90% of the respondents, the post-Covid period should include the guarantee of a job for all, the shift of our societies towards ecological reconversion, the recognition of socially useful jobs, the creation of a sustainable investment fund and the democratisation of companies”.

The Brussels Times

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