Tags: Employment

February 1, 2021

New National Labour Council CLA sets framework for Covid-telework

Traditionally, Belgian labour law distinguishes between two forms of telework, namely structural telework, regulated by the Collective Labour Agreement n° 85, and occasional telework, regulated by the Act on Workable and Agile Work. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, a third category has been added, namely ‘Covid telework’, which was, at a certain point, recommended but has now been made compulsory again by the government. Until recently, this ‘Covid telework’ was a ‘sui generis’ regime for which no legal framework had been developed. However, the National Labour Council has now concluded a Collective Labour Agreement n° 149 that creates such a legal framework.

This new CLA n° 149 does not apply to companies that already had a structural or occasional telework regime in place before 1 January 2021 that was included in either a CLA, an individual agreement or a telework policy.

For companies that do not yet have a structural or occasional telework regime in place, CLA n° 149 includes a reference framework to make the necessary arrangements on Covid-telework within the company, as well as a number of obligations for well-being at work concerning telework.

This newsflash gives an overview of the new CLA’s key points.

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January 25, 2021

Enhanced role for the occupational doctor in combatting Covid-19: contact tracing, quarantine certificates and testing

A new Royal Decree published on 21 January 2021 in the Belgian Official Gazette has temporarily extended the occupational doctor’s role in combatting the Covid-19 virus.

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December 10, 2020

Webinar Video | Help … am I still up-to-date with the current trends in labour law?

During this webinar, we guide you through the highlights of labour law in 2020 and give you a sneak peak into what is in the ‘pipeline’ for 2021 so that you start 2021 well prepared and fully informed.

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November 30, 2020

Social fraud inspection audits conducted by the District cells have been focusing on the construction sector: 2020 in retrospect

As the end of 2020 is nearing, it is time for the traditional end-of-year lists. 2020 will undoubtedly be remembered as the year in which the entire world encountered the Covid-19 virus but that has not prevented the Belgian social inspection services from proceeding with its inspection audits. Once more, the available (provisional) data[1] reveals that the construction sector has remained a highly-targeted sector. We have listed some interesting figures in the overview below.

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November 25, 2020

WEBINAR VIDEO | Lunch & Learn: Rémunérations alternatives: Comment choisir la meilleure alternative au bonus en cash ?

La « guerre des talents » encourage les entreprises à récompenser et à motiver davantage leurs travailleurs (clés) en leur accordant divers bonus pour leurs efforts. Eu égard à la forte pression parafiscale que connait le bonus en cash, les employeurs sont toujours à la recherche d’alternatives, telles que la prime bénéficiaire, le bonus salarial, l’octroi de stock-options ou de warrants, le paiement de primes dans un plan de pension bonus, etc.

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November 17, 2020

Attention points for retail sector employers considering dismissing employees for economic or technical reasons

As the retail sector is one of the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, employers within it might be considering dismissing employees for economic or technical reasons. Are you an employer within the retail sector?

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November 5, 2020

Yet another update on telework!

Telework is everywhere at the moment. Only a few days ago, we informed you of the obligation to telework during this lockdown, except when an employee’s role or the continuity of business operations does not allow for teleworking.

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November 2, 2020

Do not forget to provide any of your employees who must be present in your workplace with a document to certify this fact

Belgium is, for the second time, in lockdown. The new Ministerial Decree of 1 November 2020 stipulates that, as from today until 13 December 2020, all workers are obliged to telework. However, an exception applies when either the employee’s role or the continuity of business operations, activities and services does not allow for teleworking. In such a case, the employer must provide the worker with a certificate or other supporting document attesting that his/her presence in the workplace is needed. The ability to arrange for occasions on which workers could return to the company premises, which was provided for in the Ministerial Decree of 18 October 2020, has been deleted.

In addition to bars and restaurants, non-essential shops have now also been forced to close down during this lockdown period.

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October 30, 2020

The social partners have agreed to continue with the social elections and to further extend the opportunities for electronic voting and postal voting

Due to the dramatic increase in Covid-19 infection numbers, there were calls – once again – to postpone the social elections that are scheduled for the period between 16 and 29 November 2020. However, on 27 October 2020, the social partners reached an agreement not to do so, but to extend the opportunities for voting electronically or by post so that the elections can take place in Covid-proof circumstances. The social partners’ agreement contains the following elements: (i) the deadline for entering into an agreement on electronic voting or postal voting – which has in fact already expired – will be extended, (ii) postal voting will also be possible for staff present in the company on the day of the elections, (iii) voting letters including voting ballots can also be sent to voters by ordinary priority (and not registered) mail and (iv) postal votes received up to a maximum of 5 days after the vote has closed can still be considered as valid.

The Social Elections Act must now quickly be amended and voted upon in Parliament.

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October 28, 2020

New rules on telework to further limit the spread of Covid-19: update regional measures

Last week, we informed you about the new measures regarding telework at the federal level. In short: teleworking is no longer ‘highly recommended’ but has become ‘the rule’ for all workers whose roles allow for telework, but only to the extent that the continuity of business operations, activities and services permits it. Moreover, companies can arrange well-organised occasions in which employees can return to the company premises if they comply with sanitary measures.

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October 20, 2020

New rules on telework to further limit the spread of Covid-19

On 16 October 2020, the government decided to reinforce the urgent measures to limit the further spread of Covid–19. Teleworking is no longer ‘highly recommended’ but becomes ‘the standard’ for all functions for which teleworking is possible. Yet, the new rule is less far-reaching than during the first lockdown in March 2020 since an exception applies when the continuity of business operations, activities and services do not allow teleworking. Moreover, it is also possible for companies to organise well-organised moments of ‘return to the company premises’ if the sanitary measures are complied with. The reinforced measures will apply until 19 November 2020.  

What do these new measures mean for your company?

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October 12, 2020

Last call to implement electronic voting and/or voting by letter for Covid-proof social elections

In principle, the decision to vote electronically should have been taken as early as February 2020, at a time when few had ever heard of Covid-19. Companies that did not do so at that time but, as a result of Covid-19, would like to do so now for security reasons or because their staff still (mostly) work from home, have been given the opportunity to still introduce electronic voting. However, they have to reach an agreement on this issue at the latest on day X + 56 (i.e. between 13 and 26 October, depending on the new election date). Voting by letter can also be an option in these Covid-19 times. The deadline for doing so is also day X + 56.

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