Monday, 26 October 2020
Belgian employers have been directly called upon to let their employees telework unless absolutely necessary, following concerns that people are being asked to come in when there is no need.
Current rules in Belgium call for teleworking to be the norm, unless it leaves an organisation unable to function normally. According to virologist Steven Van Gucht, however, there have been reports that these rules are being broadly interpreted across the country.
“We are told that some employers interpret these rules very broadly,” Van Gucht explained during Monday’s Crisis Centre press conference “They require the presence of employees when this is not absolutely necessary.”
Calling for “responsibility,” the virologist reminded employers of the important part they have to play in preventing the spread of the virus.
“Not only through security in the buildings, but also by having employees work from home when they can. There will be fewer people on the job and fewer people on public transport, which will make the virus less likely to travel,” he said.
Teleworking Is Possible
Belgium has been urged to telework since 19 October, after Prime Minister Alexander De Croo included it in new countrywide measures. “It is normal that it is sometimes difficult to continue to work as usual when people do not come to the company for four weeks at a time, so we give employers this flexibility,” he said.
“But the message to all employers is very clear: telework,” De Croo added. “Over the past few months, I think we have discovered that it is possible to telework for certain jobs we first thought it impossible.”