Starting February 1, federal civil servants in Belgium will no longer have to answer phone calls from their bosses after normal working hours. In a circular written by Civil Service Minister Petra De Sutter, the so-called “right-to-disconnect” is emphasized. Under the new rules, a federal civil servant may not be contacted outside of normal working hours, except “in the event of exceptional and unforeseen circumstances requiring action that cannot wait until the next working period.” The right to disconnect will be enshrined in law as a means to combat “excessive work stress and burn-out among federal civil servants.” A similar arrangement is reportedly in the pipeline for the private sector as well.

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