Right to disconnect in the non-profit sector: a CBA on the right of employees to disconnect was concluded within JLC 337

The Law of 3 October 2022 (the so-called Belgian labor deal) has stipulated that employers with 20 employees or more must take action regarding the employee’s right to disconnect.

The right to disconnect concerns the right to be unavailable outside of normal working hours, notably including guidelines for using digital tools in such a way to safeguard the private and family life of the employee outside of normal working hours.

The legislation provides that this could be done either by the conclusion of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) at the level of the sector or, in the absence thereof, by an amendment of the work rules by the employer.

In the non-profit sector, in joint labour committee (commission paritaire / paritair comité) 337, a CBA on the right to disconnect was concluded for this purpose at the level of the sector on 21 February 2023, which means that negotiations are no longer necessary at company level to define the modalities of the right to disconnect.

This makes the non-profit sector one of the first and only sectors to have such a CBA.

The CBA of 21 February 2023 on the right to disconnect is applicable to organizations with at least 20 employees and sets out the practical implementation of the right to disconnect. Among other things, it provides that employees and employers will ensure that employees do not contact each other outside working hours for professional reasons, unless there is an emergency. The CBA also provides for some exceptions.

The CBA entered into force for an indefinite duration on 1 March 2023.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like more details on the specific content or on the impact of this CBA or the impact it will have on your employment agreements or work rules (réglement de travail / arbeidsreglement).

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