Staff Policies

NB: The following sections summarise key policies for staff, but do not replace the official working regulations that every staff member has received.

Key information
Joint Commission no. 337 (non-profit sector)
Entreprise/VAT number BE0897.690.557
Social security employer number 1341311-14
Family allocations fund CAF Partena ASBL, affiliation no. B/325112
Work accident insurance KBC Assurance, policy no. 31827184
External prevention service Mensura ASBL, affiliation no. 53288040

Employee Benefits

The following in-kind benefits are available to all EQAR staff:

  • Lunch vouchers (8€/working day, personal contribution of 1,09€/day)
  • Complementary hospitalisation and dental insurance (DKV)
  • Supplementary pension scheme (KBC Team Benefit Plan, 5,35% of gross salary)
  • Cell phone and subscription (taxable benefit valued at 12€/month)
  • Bicycle provided (Swapfiets) and cycling allowance (0,23€/km), or contribution to public transport pass

Depending on the function and contract, additional benefits might be granted.

Flexible Work

EQAR provides a workplace with a high degree of flexibility and self-responsibility. This section clarifies why there is a flexible approach, which challenges come with it and which principles apply to make it work.

Why

  • Motivate employees: it is one benefit we can offer and it distinguishes our workplace from others.

  • Fits our work: we do not have opening hours or visitors coming in except for meetings, hence there is no big need for fixed hours.

Challenges

  • Reliability: everyone should know when and how they can get hold of others, in person or virtually.

  • Coordination: it needs to be clear who does what.

  • Trust: in colleagues' own sense of responsibility and self-organisation, as it is not always easy to see who works how much.

  • Framework: employment contract and labour laws are nevertheless based on time.

Principles

Overarching: it is important that we get our work done, not at what time of the day and how. We should, however, be efficient and avoid friction or disruptions to colleagues' work.

  • Our weekly work time is 38 hours (7,6 hours/day) for full-time staff, or less depending on your part-time contract. Fluctuations are normal, but the official time serves as orientation and fluctuations should balance out. You should not constantly work more (or less) than the official hours.

  • We do not follow fixed working hours, but on work days everyone should be reachable between 11:00 and 15:00 (core hours).

  • If you work less on one day and more the next, you don't need to announce, record or report this, provided the sum remains about right within a week. If there are bigger fluctuations, please discuss and agree with the Director how and when these will be balanced.

  • Once you are sufficiently proficient and autonomous in your tasks, you may work up to 50% of your time from outside the office (home, café or any other place), provided the nature of your current tasks permits. During those times, make sure you are reachable on Slack within the core hours.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and in line with Belgian government guidelines, remote work from home is the norm for the time being and until further notice. Staff may only come to the office for urgent matters that cannot be performmed from home; the usual distance and hygiene measures need to be observed.

  • If you are not at the office during core hours on a work day (whether at a meeting, working from home or taking holidays), you need to note this in the calendar.

    • For less than half a week, you can do so without special agreement, but you are responsible for ensuring that it doesn't disrupt any urgent tasks - your own or colleagues'.
    • For longer periods (e.g. vacation), you should agree those with the Director beforehand.
  • We hold team meetings as a rule every second week. We agree at the end of each meeting when is the next one.

  • In between, Slack is our key medium, especially when not everyone is at the office.

    • Given our different timings, messages might come in at any time. You are not expected and should not feel obliged to respond to messages outside your work time.
    • If you write to someone else outside the core hours, do not expect that they respond before the next core hours.

Illness

In case of illness, you should inform the Director as soon as possible. You can be asked to justify your absence by a medical certificate.

Public Holidays

There are ten public holidays in Belgium:

  • 1 January - New Years Day
  • Easter Monday
  • 1 May - Labour Day
  • Ascension Day
  • Whit Monday
  • 21 July - National Day
  • 15 August - Assumption of Mary
  • 1 November - All Saints' Day
  • 11 November - Armistice Day
  • 25 December - Christmas

If a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, you can use it as an additional holiday on another day.

Confidentiality

According to the working regulations, staff are required to honour confidentiality of all personal or other information of a condidential nature to which they gained access in their work, during and beyond their employment contract.