Belgium Introduces Changes to Employment Law Regulations

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Belgian Official Gazette recently published a new employment regulation outlining employment termination notice periods for both blue and white collar employees, effective 1 January 2014.

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Belgium Introduces Changes to Employment Law Regulations

  1. 1. Belgium Introduces Changes to Employment Law Regulations (Bristol, UK) - Belgian Official Gazette recently published a new employment regulation outlining employment termination notice periods for both blue and white collar employees, effective 1 January 2014. Going forward, notice periods will be based on seniority, calculated in weeks and applicable from the Monday following the day notice is given. This new law is aimed to minimize legal discrimination between worker status for both blue- and white-collar employees, says Nair & Co. a provider of global HR services for companies with international operations. Following are other significant amendments published in the new law:  Probationary periods will be no longer be enforced. Exceptions apply to employment contracts for students, temporary work and interim work. Note: Probationary clauses included in the contracts prior to 1 January 2014 will remain in force.  Transitional measures may be adopted for employees who are in service prior to 1 January 2014, and who are still working. The notice period in such cases will be calculated on the basis of two elements (assuming dismissal by employers): o Seniority earned before 1 January 2014:  Blue-collar employees – In compliance with the legal rules applicable as on 31 December 2013 which include statutory periods or varying periods set at the company or industry level;  White-collar employees – Annual Remuneration as on 31 December 2013 are as follows:  Up to EUR 32,254 – 3 months every year of five years of seniority  More than EUR 32,254 – Generally, 1 month for every year of service (minimum of 3 months), subject to further rules and conditions. o Seniority earned after 1 January 2014 – please see below table
  2. 2.  Sickness day (carensdag/jour de carence) – the first day of unpaid leave (sickness) for blue collar employees has been abolished. Thus, first day of sickess leave shall be a paid leave, subject to certain conditions being fulfilled.  Under certain circumstances, for companies that are terminating employees eligible for a notice period of 30 weeks or more (or equivalent compensation), companies must offer outplacing services.  It might soon become necessary for employers to formally explain the grounds of termination (taking place after 1 January 2014). Notice periods for termination of an employment contract by the employer or employee are as follows as of January 1, 2014: Notice period for contract terminated by Seniority Employee (in weeks) Employer (in weeks) 0 to 3 months 1 2 3 to 6 months 2 4 6 to 9 months 3 6 9 to 12 months 3 7 12 to 15 months 4 8 15 to 18 months 4 9 18 to 21 months 5 10 21 < 24 months 5 11 3 years of service 6 12 4 years of service 6 13 5 years of service 7 15 6 years of service 9 18 7 years of service 10 21 8 years of service 12 24 9 years of service 13 27 10 years of service 13 30 (length of employment)
  3. 3. 11 years of service 13 33 12 years of service 13 36 13 years of service 13 39 14 years of service 13 42 15 years of service 13 45 16 years of service 13 48 17 years of service 13 51 18 years of service 13 54 19 years of service 13 57 20 years of service 13 60 21 years of service 13 62 Every additional year Not more than 13 Additional week - every year of service Nair & Co. recommends companies operating in Belgium to take a close look at the new employment law amendments in order to make suitable changes to their HR policies and avoid missing relevant information for a proper and lawful termination process. For more information about doing business overseas or to learn more about our International HR Services please contact us. Subscribe to regular Global HR alerts from Nair & Co. Get the latest news releases and updates on international tax, HR, accounting, compliance and other legal news at Nair & Co. Industry Alerts. About Nair & Co. Nair & Co., the leader in international business expansion services, provides accounting, HR, legal, tax and compliance services for the set up and management of your international operations. Our model of a single-point-of-contact, supported by internal teams of experienced advisors, helps clients expand business and manage risk so they can focus on their core business and sustain growth with minimal risk, stress and cost. We support nearly 250 clients in over 70 countries. Nair & Co. is headquartered in
  4. 4. Bristol, UK, has 450 employees and offices in China, India, Japan, Singapore, and the US. Learn more at www.nair-co.com Media Contacts: For media enquiries or to learn to more about Nair & Co., please email us at media@nair-co.com or call Yvonne Smith at +1.408.501.8867

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