Belgium: Bill On Workable And Flexible Work Submitted To Stakeholders

Last Updated: 6 September 2016
Article by Catherine Longeval

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Labour Kris Peeters submitted a draft Bill on Workable and Flexible Work (Wetsontwerp Werkbaar en Wendbaar Werk/Projet de loi concernant le Travail Faisable et Maniable; the "Bill") to the so-called "Group of 10", a group of stakeholders including employer organisations and unions.

The Bill consists of two parts:

1. A general section with measures that apply immediately to companies.

  • Annualisation of working hours: There is no question of abolishing the 38-hour work week. It would be possible, however, to determine the 38-hour work week on average over a period of 1 year. During specific periods, work can be performed up to 9 hours per day and 45 hours per week, provided that these hours are compensated for with free time during periods of less work. This flexibility is not unlimited. At no time is the employee allowed to perform more than 143 hours above the average working time. If this threshold is reached, the employer must grant compensatory rest to his employee. The existing overtime regulation will remain unchanged. The employee will thus be compensated financially if he works in excess of normal working hours during specific periods.
  • 100 voluntary paid hours of overtime: The employee would be able to choose to perform 100 hours of overtime. In such a case, the employer would pay these hours with overtime allowance.
  • Training: The current target to spend 1.9% of the total wage bill on training would be replaced by a new inter-professional target of 5 training days on average per full-time equivalent ("FTE") and per year. This measure will entail no additional costs for employers. The new system provides for the possibility of organising the right to training either at sectoral level or at company level, through the creation of an individual training account. If none of these two instruments are available, the employee is entitled to an individual right for 2 days of training per year and per FTE.
  • Occasional telework: A regulatory framework would determine the conditions under which an employee is entitled to occasional telework.

If the industrial sectors do not conclude a collective bargaining agreement ("CBA") on all or part of these basic measures before 31 December 2016, these measures (or the part thereof that has not been made the subject of a CBA) will become mandatory.

  1. A series of measures that can only be activated by the industrial sectors.
  • Overall reform of working time: The social stakeholders would be able to deviate from the normal working time limits by CBA. The absolute thresholds of 11 hours per day and 50 hours per week would remain (if the average of 38 hours per week is respected). It would be possible to shift the starting hour for night work from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
  • Modification of work schedules: All full-time work schedules would have to be included in the work rules. If multiple work schedules apply, the rules for the transition between these work schedules would also have to be included in the work rules.
  • Plus Minus Conto: Internationally competitive sectors would be able to provide by CBA that the calculation of the average 38-hour work week will be spread over several years. This is already provided for today in the automotive industry.
  • Temporary agency work of indefinite duration: Temporary agency workers with a contract of indefinite duration would also receive a salary from the agency between two assignments.
  • Reform of system of employers' group: Small businesses would be able to hire an employee together. This is an opportunity for companies that do not have the resources to hire an employee individually.
  • Simplification part-time work: The obligation to include all individual work schedules in the work rules would be deleted. This is a significant administrative simplification. For employees who work with a variable work schedule, the notification period would remain 5 days. This could be increased or decreased (to a minimum of 1 day), but only if this is agreed in a binding CBA between the social stakeholders. Certain documents which currently have to be kept on paper could also be stored electronically.
  • Career saving (loopbaansparen/épargne-carrière): Employees would be able to save up additional holidays. Each sector could decide to implement this option at company or sectoral level. In case of a job change (even to another sector), the employee would be able to opt for a compensation payment for the accrued additional holidays from which he has not yet benefited wherever it is impossible to transfer the accumulated additional holidays to the new employer. It is unclear at this stage whether the compensation payment would have to be paid by the former or the new employer.
  • Adaptation of leave systems: Leave for palliative care could be extended to a maximum of 3 months. Time credit for care purposes could also be extended by 3 months.
  • Flexible working hours: A regulatory framework for flexible working hours during which the employee can determine the beginning and the end of his performance, would be subject to certain limits.
  • Granting of leave: The employee who has a seriously ill child and has exhausted all leave systems, would be able to ask his employer to open up this system by accepting other employees' donation of additional holidays (holidays beyond the statutory leave of 20 days) for the benefit of the employee with the seriously ill child.

After discussion of the Bill within the Group of 10, the Minister for Labour will submit it to the government. Following the advice of the Council of State, the Bill will be submitted for approval to the Chamber of Representatives.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions