Calling in sick for a cheeky day off to enjoy a long weekend or recover from last night’s drinking session may soon be rather tricky in Belgium.
The country’s government has proposed a law that would require employees taking a sick day to stay at home for a medical check-up.
Belgium media reported that under the draft legislation people would be obliged to remain at their home for a four-hour timeslot between 7am and 8pm to wait for a visit from a doctor who will confirm their reported ailments. If the person is not at home when the doctor calls they could lose their pay for that day.
The rule change is part of an overhaul by the country’s government of labour laws, which are different for blue and white collar workers. Presently in Belgium people working in manual jobs do not get their first day of sick leave paid. Under new laws that would be abolished.
Belgium’s unions however have called the proposals unacceptable and that they amount to house arrest.
“We can’t agree with such a violation of personal privacy,” Jan Vercamst of the union ACLVB told The Guardian. “Blue-collar workers are accused of throwing more sickies on a Monday than white-collar workers. We want to end all discrimination, but this we cannot accept.”