Many Belgian companies wait until after summer to return to office
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Many Belgian companies wait until after summer to return to office

Credit: Belga

As Belgium’s coronavirus measures are gradually being lifted, mandatory teleworking is also being phased out, but many companies want to wait until after the summer to return to the office, according to social secretariat Groupe S.

It is up to the employer to draw up their own plan for returning to the office, Groupe S explained in a press release on Monday, adding that many companies prefer to wait until the end of the summer to initiate the return to the office.

When announcing its “summer plan” last month, Belgium’s Consultative Committee set two important dates for teleworking: 9 June, from when employees could return to the office one day a week, and 1 July, when teleworking will no longer be mandatory.

While it will remain strongly recommended, staff parties and team activities will be allowed again.

Although the government has defined the broad outlines of the return to work, each company is free to plan the concrete arrangements as it sees fit.

“We have noticed that some companies only plan the return to work at the end of the summer,” said Groupe S in a press release. “This is particularly the case in organisations where office work has been very exceptional over the past few months.”

“For many companies, therefore, the coronavirus-related teleworking regime will continue to be applied until after their employees’ holidays,” it said, adding that some companies feel that the upcoming holiday periods would involve too many difficulties in planning the presence of staff members on company premises.

“Others want to take the time over the next few months to prepare everything thoroughly.”

Despite teleworking rules being relaxed, however, social distancing, hand disinfection and other precautionary measures will remain compulsory.

The Brussels Times