A national collective agreement to outline telework arrangements during the pandemic in Belgium

Dec 20, 2021 | Belgium, Better Stories, Work and labour market

To alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 policies, many initiatives have been developed by civil society organisations – NGOs, local governments, or citizens. A team of national researchers from the RESISTIRÉ project has collected and highlighted a set of particularly relevant initiatives in 27 European countries and in Iceland, Serbia, the United Kingdom and Turkey. These Better Stories currently cover eight specific domains: gender-based violence, the labour market, the economy, gender-pay and pension gaps, gender care gaps, decision-making and politics, environmental justice, human and fundamental rights.

This Better Story has been collected by Igor Živković.


On 26 January 2021, the National Labour Council (NAR) concluded a national interprofessional collective agreement on teleworking during the COVID-19 crisis, which provides a clear framework for the minimum arrangements to be made at company level.

This was done to safeguard the rights of teleworkers. The new collective agreement applies to government-recommended or compulsory teleworking to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

The agreement mainly aims at forcing companies that do not yet have a solid framework for telework to make agreements on this issue now. It was agreed upon until 31 December 2021.

The principles of the agreement are related to: 

  • Terms of employment
    The provision of equipment and technical support; the use of own equipment and the reimbursement or payment by the employer of related costs.
  • Organisation of employment
    The teleworker organises his/her own work, while respecting the agreed working hours.

  • Control
    The employer shall exercise control over the work of his employees in an appropriate and proportionate manner.
  • Collective rights
    Teleworkers have the same collective rights as when they work at the company site.
  • Wellbeing at work
    The teleworkers are informed about the company’s policy on well-being at work specifically related to telework. The employer must ensure that the teleworkers are connected to their colleagues and the company, with specific attention to vulnerable teleworkers.


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