Marga Caproni

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Belgium – the synergy between pension contributions and the severance indemnity

If you terminate an employee in Belgium you will often need to pay a severance indemnity.  This is calculated in part by reference to the employee’s pay for his notice period.  It is calculated on the “full salary”, including not just base salary, 13th month and vacation pay, but also all other benefits enjoyed by … Continue Reading

Belgium – “When the lights go out”: the burn-out pandemic

In this last episode of our mini-series on long-term absence, we will zoom in on probably the most common current ground for long-term absence in Belgium, which is burn-out. Burn-out was in the Belgian press again recently because of a decision in the Antwerp Employment Court that it is discriminatory for a health care insurer … Continue Reading

Employees on long-term sickness absence – out of sight, out of mind no longer (Belgium)

The Belgian Parliament is currently discussing a draft Bill proposed by Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke which aims to reverse the growing trend of long-term sickness. About half a million employees have been off sick for more than a year, according to figures from the National Institute for Sickness and Disability Insurance. That’s two-thirds more … Continue Reading

Belgium – “Who you gonna call?” — appointment of a person of trust mandatory as of 1 December

While some are already hanging up the Christmas decorations and squeezing back into their Christmas jumpers, the Belgian legislator has picked the festive season to introduce a number of new measures relating to well-being in the workplace. We will discuss these measures in a series of blogs. The first measure holds that the appointment of … Continue Reading

Competition and employment – a marriage that does not allow for a prenup …

In our blog here, we noted EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s focus on the evolution of cartels in recent years, with the emergence of purchasing cartels and the focus in the US on ‘no-poach’ agreements, whereby companies agree not to recruit each other’s workers and/or fix wages.  This is similar to a purchasing cartel, except … Continue Reading

The gender pay gap and what Belgian employers need to do about it (now and in the future)

The statistics Some uplifting news last week from Statbel, the Belgian Agency for Statistics. In 2021, there was no longer a pay gap for young women in Belgium. But as their age goes up, so opens up the pay gap with male colleagues. On average across all ages, women in Belgium earned 5% less per … Continue Reading

What’s new in Belgium on the employment front, Part 2 – rolling out the biking allowance

In the first part of our mini blog series we discussed the training plan you are required to introduce for your employees in Belgium before 31 March. In this second blog, we will zoom in on the biking allowance which was introduced recently. Although we are not quite at the level of the Dutch (the … Continue Reading

Belgium finally transposes the Whistleblowers Directive – fashionably late, but worth the wait?

Roughly a year late, but here we are then: Belgium has finally transposed the Whistleblowers Directive into national law. The Act of 28 November 2022 on the protection of reporters of breaches of Union or national law discovered within a legal entity in the private sector sets out the rules for companies in the private … Continue Reading

Belgium’s new measures on employee illness – headaches for employers?

If I were to rank the employment law questions I receive by popularity, questions around long-term absence, absenteeism and generally how to deal with work incapacity would be right up there, a definite podium finish. The tension between the legitimate frustrations of employers and the no-fault nature of the employees’ absence seems eternal. To give … Continue Reading

Belgium takes first steps towards improved work-life balance in new Labour Deal

After the federal majority parties failed to conclude an agreement on Friday on a series of labour market reforms, they finally broke the deadlock overnight on Monday this week. In an early fail on the work:life balance front, the new measures were unveiled at a presumably sparsely-attended press conference at 2.30am. Bleary-eyed Ministers praised the … Continue Reading

Collective agreements – EU to limit impact of competition law on self-employed people

On 9 December, the European Commission published draft Guidelines on the application of EU competition law to collective agreements on the working conditions of solo self-employed people providing services. The draft Guidelines are the product of an initial impact assessment published this time last year and a subsequent consultation with stakeholders from March to May. … Continue Reading

Belgium’s largest Joint Committee reaches a new agreement on employment and working conditions – deadlines for employers to act are tight!

Against the background of industrial unrest in other sectors, the social partners of Joint Committee 200 –the Committee representing the largest number of employees in the country, more than 480.000 in total – have quietly come to an agreement on employment and working conditions. The most important provisions of the agreement are summarized within this … Continue Reading

Belgium imposes tighter Covid measures (including an obligation to work from home again)

In the wave of sunny optimism following the roll-out of our vaccination programme this spring-summer, few people in Belgium had anticipated that the Covid situation would worsen again, or do so as quickly as it has. And yet the numbers of infections and patients in intensive care are now at an all-time high. New stricter … Continue Reading

‘No-poach’ agreements – EU catching up with the US on anti-competitive recruitment practices

On 19 October, Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Competition of the European Commission, delivered a speech addressing the EU’s current policy when addressing cartels, potential changes to the Commission’s leniency program and recent dawn-raid efforts. Most notably, Vestager spoke about so-called ‘no-poach’ agreements, whereby companies agree not to recruit each other’s workers and/or … Continue Reading

Returning to the workplace – Part 4: Now you see me, now you don’t … Monitoring teleworkers’ productivity (Belgium)

The pandemic has given an enormous boost to working from home, in particular (to state the obvious) when it was mandatory. Where roles permitted it, even those employers and employees most vigorously opposed to it simply had no choice but to accept it. When quizzed about the reasons why they oppose WFH, most employers’ main … Continue Reading

Returning to the workplace – Part 3: Off to town for a home office? (Belgium)

I will start this third part of our Working from Home series with a confession: I worked the first couple of weeks of lockdown from a small table dragged in from our balcony. Not because I don’t have a fully equipped and ergonomically approved home office, because I do. I just didn’t like the vibe … Continue Reading
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