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Saint-Josse introduces four-day working week for over-55s

10:14 03/02/2020

The Brussels municipality of Saint-Josse has introduced a four-day working week for staff aged 55 and over - without any loss of pay or pension contributions.

The voluntary measure aims to improve work-life balance for the council's longest-serving staff, while also opening up new opportunities for younger jobseekers.

Of the 120 municipal staff who meet the age criteria, 95 have opted to reduce their working time since 1 February, across all roles and pay grades. To compensate, Saint-Josse will be hiring 20 new full-time staff.

"The absence of these employees for one day a week adds up to the equivalent hours of 20 full-time jobs," said the town hall's head of human resources, Stéphane Crickx.

"The hiring process is year-round and is quite fast. There are decisions that are made every week, so this should not pose any problems for the teams' workload or productivity."

The measure will cost the municipality about €800,000 a year. "We have managed to save money in certain departments," said Saint-Josse mayor Emir Kir.

"We have also been better at collecting local taxes. This is our way of enabling young people to find a job."

The scheme will be tested out for two years - and if successful could be extended to workers of other ages.

Written by The Bulletin



A 4 day working week is healthier for all. Retiring at 55years of age on a full pension without any loss of pay or pension contributions will be warmly welcome by everybody.

Feb 3, 2020 18:03

Would be great if such a system would apply to the self-employed too. Being an employee in Belgium is the only way to guarantee a pension with sufficient funds to live on. Being a municipal employee is even better.

Feb 4, 2020 16:09

Nothing to stop self employed people retiring at 55 or even earlier if they earn enough and plenty do.

Feb 9, 2020 00:32