Manageable and Feasible work
28 March 2017
It wasn’t so easy to achieve, but on 15 March 2017 the Law on Manageable and Feasible work was finally published in the Belgian Official Gazette. The purpose of the law is to modernize our labor law. In today's society the employers demand more flexibility, while the employees need more grip on their work-life balance.
The new law will be implemented retroactively from 1 February 2017. However, this does not apply to all the measures. Below you will find a brief overview.
Measures that are directly applicable
- Flexible work arrangements: the reference period for the calculation of the average weekly working time is now one calendar year or 12 consecutive months.
- Voluntary overtime hours: employees can accept the offer of the employer to perform voluntary overtime hours of maximum 100 hours per calendar year (can be increased to 360 hours by a generally binding collective labor agreement).
- Increase of the internal overtime limit of hours: employees can now work143 hours before taking mandatory compensatory rest. This limit can be increased by a generally binding collective labour agreement.
- Investment in training: the interprofessional training target of 1,9% of the global wages is converted to an average of 5 days of training days per full time equivalent per year. For now an average of 2 days are allowed and a grow path was defined to achieve an average of 5 days.
- Occasional telework: a legal framework will be developed for occasional telework in which employees are allowed to telework on an occasional basis for personal reasons or in case of force majeure.
Measures that should first be activated on sectoral level
- Expansion of the plus minus conto: the purpose of the plus minus conto is to allow variations in the work schedule in accordance with fluctuations in production cycles. This possibility that already exists in the automotive industry, is now extended to the entire private sector.
- Temporary work agreement for an indefinite period: interim agencies have the possibility to conclude employment contracts for an indefinite period with temporary workers. The obligation that temporary work is only possible for the execution of types of temporary work permitted by the law, stays intact.
- Career saving: the career saving account allows employees to save time in order to later transform it into leave during his career.
- Donation of conventional leave: scheme that allows the employee to offer conventional leave to an employee who has taken all of his holidays and whose child younger than 21 years is seriously ill.
Reform and expansion of existing measures
- Reformation employers regrouping: the law provides for, among others, the simplification of the ministerial approval to function as an employers group, provisions to determine to which joint committee the group belongs,…
- Simplification of part-time work: certain aspects of part-time work are being simplified and modernized in order to lighten the administrative burden on employers. This will enter into force on 1 October 2017.
- Flexible schedules: a legal framework is defined in which the employee can determine the start and the end of his working day, within certain limits. Employers who already use such a scheme are obliged to include this in a collective labor agreement or the working regulations by 30 June 2017.
- Expansion of palliative care leave and time credit: the palliative leave will be extended by one month and time credit will be extended from 48 to 51 months.
- E-commerce: the possibility to perform night work is extended to the performance of all logistical and support services related to electronic commerce.
The Law on Manageable and Feasible Work, therefore, includes very important changes regarding labor law.