Last night, the government reached an agreement on the labour deal. The number one objective is to create more employment and provide more flexibility for both employees and employers.
Below, we summarise the main points.
COMMITMENT TO WORK-LIFE BALANCE
Four-day working week:
- does not imply shorter working hours, but the same working hours on 4 days (instead of 5).
- maximum of 9.5 hours per day (to be provided in work regulations) or 10 hours per day (with company collective bargaining agreement).
- initiative lies with employee; employer can refuse, but must justify.
- request must be made in writing and can be reviewed every 6 months by the employee.
Variable working week:
- possibility to fill in working hours in a more flexible way, by working more one week and less the next.
- mainly intended for divorced parents and employees in co-parenthood.
- initiative lies with employee, employer can refuse, but must justify.
- request must be made in writing and can be reviewed by the employee every 6 months.
Right to deconnection or to be offline:
- employees must not be online or read their messages outside working hours.
- agreement to be made with trade unions.
- only applies to companies with 20 employees or more.
Faster information about part-time variable work schedules:
- employees must be informed of their work schedule 7 working days or more in advance (instead of 5 working days).
COMMITMENT TO TRAINING AND SMOOTHER JOB CHANGING
- entitlement to 3 training days per year from 2022, 4 days from 2023, 5 days from 2024.
- companies with 20 employees or more: drawing up of an individual training plan.
Smoother changing of jobs :
- possibility to transfer to a new employer after dismissal via a transition route during the notice period. This would be realized by a compensation arrangement between the former and the new employer;
- possibility for older employees to convert 1/3 of the notice period into outplacement or training.
WORKERS IN PLATFORM ECONOMY - E-COMMERCE
Meal delivery workers:
- (rebuttable) presumption of employment contract on the basis of 8 criteria (e.g. exclusivity with the platform), for which it is necessary that 3 criteria are met, in line with what Europe proposes in its draft directive on improving working conditions in the platform economy. That proposal starts from a (rebuttable) presumption of an employment contract when a platform checks the execution of the work on the basis of 5 criteria: if 2 out of the 5 criteria are met, there is a presumption of an employment contract.
- workplace accident insurance for all platform workers.
- night work (between 8pm and midnight) is possible with the agreement of one trade union and with agreements on premiums/additional wage.
- to be evaluated after two years.
Trial projects over 18 months in which employees can work voluntarily between 8 pm and midnight without permission from a trade union.
DIVERSITY AT WORK
- Monitoring of diversity per sector by FPS WASO. If there is a significant difference between a particular company and the sector, that company will have to draw up an action plan.
To do: The employment deal still has to be cast in legislation, after advice from the social partners. Lydian's Employment department will follow this up for you and keep you informed.