Marga Caproni

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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

Belgium: paid time off takes pain out of employee vaccinations

In order to ensure that as many people as possible are vaccinated, the trade unions and the employers’ organisations in the National Labour Council have agreed that employees will be allowed to take the necessary time off to be vaccinated. If enough vaccines are available, at-risk patients will be vaccinated from April onwards and the … Continue Reading

Belgium’s social inspection services on a mission to check observance with working from home rules

In a previous blog we noted that as of November 2020, Belgium would again be in semi-lockdown and that one of the measures re-imposed was the obligation to work from home, unless this is realistically impossible. Employees whose work requires them to go the office need a confirmatory certificate from their employer attesting to this … Continue Reading

Belgium – Your employees can’t work from home? Time for a certificate!

We were – as ever – maybe a little late to the party, but as of Monday 2 November, Belgium is in new lockdown, at least until 13 December. Non-essential shops are closed and so-called “professions with direct contact” (beauticians, barbers) are prohibited from working.  Working from home is mandatory, unless this is “impossible due … Continue Reading

Belgian Ministry of Employment blows hot and cold on pre-return temperature checks

In an attempt to keep Covid-19 out of the workplace, many employers have been inquiring about the possibility of performing temperature checks before employees enter their premises each day. The Belgian Ministry of Employment’s position until last week was fairly relaxed: its FAQ document referred to the stance taken by the Belgian Data Protection Authority, … Continue Reading

Belgium – new “Corona leave” reduces young parents’ suffering

In a previous blog, we mentioned in mildly critical tones that the Belgian government still hadn’t issued a regulation on a proposed special “Corona leave” for young parents struggling to balance (home)work and the care of their children. It could just be coincidence, obviously, but the very next day the government reached agreement on the … Continue Reading

Smoke lifts temporarily over Belgium’s occult period (and other questions about termination)

In a previous blog, in a world before the coronavirus hit Europe, we noted the social elections that Belgian employers have to organise in 2020 [here] for the appointment of employee representatives to the Works Council and Health & Safety Committee. Being a representative of that sort (and also being a candidate for that role) … Continue Reading
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