Since the Coronavirus crisis, many companies have been struggling with temporary unemployment. The social partners reached a collective labour agreement in order to simplify access to temporary unemployment due to economic effects. The simplified procedure for temporary unemployment provides clarity for employers and employees.
A pandemic such as a coronavirus (COVID-19) has a significant impact on our professional lives. We, therefore, answer some pressing questions. How to fight the virus in the workplace? What to do if a colleague becomes infected? What if I am infected myself? Do I still have to come to work? Am I entitled to my regular wages?
Since 2011, the Belgian Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue has published quarterly statistics on collective redundancies on the website employment.belgium.be. The number of collective redundancies announced in 2018 was around 6,027. This represents an increase compared with the remarkably low figure of 3,829 in 2017. In 2019, the number went back up again in line with 2018, reaching 5,087 announced collective redundancies.
The criminal trial of a well-known restaurant owner has once again drawn attention to the very broad inspection powers of the social inspectorate. The employer refused to allow the social inspectorate to enter his restaurant. Nevertheless, social inspectors are legally entitled to freely enter all possible workplaces at any time of the day or night, without prior notice!
A company merger, company sale, bankruptcy or voluntary closure can all be a reason for a company to wind down. Labour law provides for strict procedures for companies planning to wind down. Companies that do not comply with these procedures risk severe criminal sanctions.
Bad weather, heavy traffic, a train strike or you've simply overslept. These are all the reasons employees give when they are late for work. The key question is, according to the letter of the law, what are the valid reasons for latecomers keeping their full wage or avoiding other sanctions?
Workplace elections require thorough preparation - Update: suspension of the workplace election procedure by coronavirus.
Every four years, the social partners in Belgium hold their Olympic Games: workplace elections. After the votes have been counted we know which of the workplace representatives will be members of the Works Councils and the Health and Safety Committees. Thorough preparation of this process is very important for any company.
What effect does part-time work have on the calculation of severance pay in the event of dismissal? By definition, a part-time employee has a lower salary than a colleague who does the same job full-time, but does this also apply to severance pay?
Employees must take their legal holiday entitlement before the end of the year. Nonetheless, we see in practice that some employees and employers make mutual agreements to transfer holidays to the following year. This practice is unlawful and is even a punishable offence! It is important that the entire holiday entitlement is taken in time.
Employees who are candidates in trade union elections are by law protected against dismissal, despite the fact that their employers do not yet know about their being candidates. During this hidden period, union representatives and candidates in union elections can only be dismissed for two very strictly defined reasons: economic-technical reasons and urgent reasons. Even so, an employer who dismisses an employee during this period takes a huge risk.