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