WebinarNext month we are presenting a webinar to discuss the important employment reforms that are being phased in from 1 January 2018 and which will affect all employers located in Belgium. Intended to boost job creation, the reforms are on the back of the 2017 measures giving increased flexibility in working time.

On 16 May 2018 at 3 p.m. GMT (4 p.m. BST (UK), 5 p.m. CEST, 11 a.m. EDT, 8 a.m. PDT) Nathalie Lucas, an employment lawyer in our Brussels office, will discuss the key reforms, including:

  • Probationary periods. From 1 May 2018, the statutory notice periods for dismissals during the first six months of employment will be reduced as a means of encouraging employers to enter into permanent rather than temporary contracts.
  • Profit participation premiums. A new tax-efficient company “profit participation premium” is being introduced, whereby employees can benefit from tax-effective bonuses of up to 30% of the total salary costs of the employer.
  • Activation contributions. To retain more older employees in employment, these additional social security contributions are intended to discourage employers from placing employees on garden leave ahead of their retirement.
  • “Cash for cars”. Employees can trade in company cars for extra salary.
  • “Mystery calls”. A new and controversial tool intended to help the Belgian Social Inspection Services uncover discriminatory practices.

Other reforms discussed will include:

  • The right to disconnect”. Inspired by similar reforms in France, new measures aimed at mitigating the excessive use of new technologies outside office hours.
  • Starter jobs. Employing 18-21 year olds is being encouraged through a reduction in PAYE costs.
  • Flexi-jobs. Extension of the “flexi-jobs” system (where tax and social security costs are restricted) from the hotels, restaurants and pubs sector to other labour-intensive sectors such as retail.
  • Retirement measures. Incentives for employers that maintain pay for older workers who reduce their working hours or change their pattern of work.
  • Sector measures. Interim work will be permitted in all sectors and specific measures are being introduced in the e-commerce and building sectors.

The webinar will be a 50-minute presentation in English, followed by a 10-minute online question and answer session.

Intended to help you manage labour and employment law risk across your international operations, the webinar will be of interest to both HR professionals and in-house counsel.

If you have not already pre-registered for this webinar, please register using the button.

This webinar is part of our 2018 series focusing on the key labour and employment issues in countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the US.