The Labour Deal is published in the Belgian State Gazette

The Labour Deal is published in the Belgian State Gazette
November 10, 2022

Today, 10 November 2022, the Labour Deal Act has – finally – been published in the Belgian State Gazette.

You can, once again, find below our checklist of the obligations and possibilities for employers based on the Labour Deal Act, together with an indication of when each measure will enter into force.

We discussed the new obligations and opportunities for employers and employees following the Labour Deal during our webinars on 26 September 2022 (French session) and 27 September 2022 (Dutch session).

Did you miss those webinars? No problem, you can still view them on our YouTube channel:

Employment Webinar: Help! How do I deal with the Labour Deal in my company? (FR) – YouTube

Employment Webinar: Help! How do I deal with the Labour Deal in my company? (NL) – YouTube

Checklist – Obligations for the employer

Right to be “offline”Each company with at least 20 employees will be required to respect the right for each employee to be ‘offline’ after working hours. These companies will have to lay down rules on ‘disconnection’ at the company level in a company CBA or in the work rules by 1 January 2023 at the latest (unless a collective bargaining agreement is concluded by that time either in the National Labour Council or by the applicable Joint Committee that regulates this right collectively).
Introduction of an individual right to training days and an obligation for employers to draw up an annual training planEach company with at least 20 employees must draw up a training plan every year before 31 March. This obligation has already been in force since 1 September 2022.
Platform workersAn insurance for physical damage must be taken out for self-employed platform workers, which must offer protection equivalent to that provided in the Act of 10 April 1971 on work accidents. The date by which this insurance should be in place is not yet known and will be determined by Royal Decree.
Variable working time schedules for part-time employeesVariable working time schedules for part-time employees must be notified to the employees at least 7 working days in advance (instead of 5 working days). In case of an exception by sector-CBA, then the minimum notification period will be increased from 1 working day to 3 working days. The work rules will have to be modified in line with these changes within 9 months after the Labour Deal enters into force, i.e. within 9 months following 20 November 2022. Until this time, the old notification periods continue to apply.
Promoting redeploymentFrom 1 January 2023 (and this is only for dismissals that take place or have taken place as from 1 January 2023), employees with a notice period (or indemnity in lieu of notice) of at least 30 weeks will be given the right to take-up ‘employment-enhancing measures’ (e.g. additional outplacement, training or coaching) during the notice period or after payment of the indemnity in lieu of notice with a value equal to the employer’s social security contributions on the salary for 1/3rd of the notice period or on 1/3rd of the indemnity in lieu of notice (minus 4 weeks’ for outplacement). 

Checklist – Possibilities for the employer

Introduction of a 4-day work weekIf a 4-day work week would be introduced in the company, then the work rules must be amended with this new possible work schedule. If the weekly working hours exceed 38 hours in the company, then a CBA must be concluded. This regime can be introduced in the company as from 20 November 2022.       
Introduction of a varying weekly working regimeIf the varying weekly working regime would be introduced into the company, then the work rules must be amended. This regime can be introduced into the company as from 20 November 2022.
Transition pathsEmployees will have the option of already starting to work, on a voluntary basis, for another employer (‘user’) during their notice period. Such work will be organised by the temporary employment agencies or by the regional employment agencies, VDAB/Forem/Actiris. An agreement will have to be concluded between these 4 parties (the initial employer, the employee, the new employer (‘user’) and the temporary employment agency or the regional employment agency) regarding the modalities and the duration of this regulated employee lending. These transition paths can be set-up as from 20 November 2022.
Nightwork in e-commerceEmployers will be able to set up a one-off experiment for a maximum period of 18 months in which (1) employees can work between 8 pm and midnight on a voluntary basis (without any union intervention) and (2) in which the working time schedules are automatically included in the work rules without having to go through the process for amending the work rules. This experiment is possible as from 20 November 2022.

Please do not hesitate to contact ALTIUS’ Employment team if you would like any further information or if we can assist with implementing the Labour Deal in your company.

Written by

  • Esther Soetens

    Counsel

  • Mieke D’hanis

    Associate

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