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Brussels HR Law Focus Newsletter No.2

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Belgium

Our "HR Law Focus" newsletter is released every time we judge that new legislation or case law might be important for your business.

Our "HR Law Focus" newsletter is released every time we judge that new legislation or case law might be important for your business. Besides the newsletter, we organise regularly "HR Law Focus" seminars: our next seminar is scheduled for 28 January 2014 with an overview of the most relevant legal developments for the HR practice.

Adaptation for 2014 of the salary amounts in the law on employment contracts, immigration and non-recurrent result-tied bonus.

On 1 January 2014, the salary amounts determined in the Law of 3 July 1978 on employment contracts were adapted in accordance with the indexation rules.

As from 1 January 2014, the applicable amounts of annual remuneration are:

  • 32,886 euro (legal base amount: 16,100 euro; 2013 amount: 32,254 euro);
  • 39,422 euro (legal base amount: 19,300 euro; 2013 amount: 38,665 euro);
  • 65,771 euro (legal base amount: 32,200 euro; 2013 amount: 64,508 euro)

These amounts determine, inter alia, the applicable rules for, the validity of a noncompetition, training or arbitration clause, the maximum amount of a financial guarantee and the applicability of the special categories in order to obtain a work permit.

1. Determination of the notice period for with-collar workers

A new scheme is applicable to workers made redundant as from January 1, 2014. Notice given before the entry into force of the new legislation will be dealt with under the law in effect before that date. There will be two distinct periods: that before January 1, 2014, and the period as from January 1, 2014. For contracts where no notice/severance was conventionally determined before the entry into force of the employment contract, seniority acquired pre-effective date will qualify for a notice period of (i) either a notice of three months per started period of 5 years of seniority for white collar workers (earning ≤ 32,254 EUR - the 2013 salary amounts are applied for this assessment) or (ii) one month per year of service for white-collar workers (earning > 32,254 EUR in 2014) with a minimum of three months. Negotiations about the notice period/severance pay of white-collar workers (and the formulae developed for this purpose) are a thing of the past as from January 1, 2014. See also our HR Law Focus Newsletter 2014/1 on the single status attached.

1.1 Employment agreements with entry into service before 01/01/2014

Step 1:

Notice for office workers for the period prior to 01/01/2014

Gross annual salary

 
≤ 32,254 EUR 3 months for each started period of 5 years' seniority
> 32,254 EUR The notice is equal to one month per started period of one year seniority, with a minimum of three months


Notice for manual workers for the period prior to 01/01/204

The notice periods applicable on 31 December 2013 apply for manual workers. These are the articles 59, 60, 65/2 and the sector regulations in this respect.

Step 2:

For the seniority acquired as from 1 January 2014, the new notice periods apply for manual as well as for office workers. See our newsletter n°1 of January 2014 attached to this mail.

To calculate the notice period, the result of step 1 and step 2 need to be added together.

1.2 Agreements with entry service as from 01/01/2014

As from 01/01/2014 new notice periods apply when the employer terminates the employment contract. No salary ceilings apply anymore. Please see for the new notice periods our newsletter n°1 of January 2014 attached to this mail.

2. Salary condition for non-competition clause for blue- & white-collar workers

Gross annual salary

 
≤ 32,886 EUR Deemed not existing
> 32,886 EUR

Only applicable to categories of functions specified in a CBA

> 65,771 EUR Applicable except for categories of functions specified in  a CBA

 

3. Salary condition for non-competition clause for sales representatives

Gross annual salary

 
≤ 32,886 EUR Deemed not existing

 

 

 

4. Salary condition for a training clause 

Gross annual salary

 
≤ 32,886 EUR Deemed not existing

 

5. Salary condition for special categories work permit B 

Gross annual salary

 
> 32,886 EUR Highly skilled staff
> 65,771 EUR Managerial staff

 

6. Non-recurrent result tied bonus

3,131 EUR

Maximum gross amount for social security purposes

2,722 EUR

Maximum taxable amount exempt from taxation (= maximum net advantage for each employee a year)

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