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Employment

Our Employment, social security and business migration department assists and advises both Belgian and foreign companies and individuals in all aspects of employment law, while being highly recognised for our specific expertise in international mobility, social security and business migration.

Our main areas of expertise include:

  • Labour contracts (drafting all types of employment contracts with specific clauses adapted to the needs of the company)
  • Employment flexibility (advising on all aspects of working time, structuring end-of-career, suspension of the employment contract, time-credit, aspects of the gig economy)
  • Drafting, negotiating and implementing internal policies/ procedures (labour regulations, harassment and discrimination, use of new technologies and social media)
  • Flexible salary packages (employment, social security and immigration aspects of salary packages and alternative remuneration, stock and other related remuneration)
  • Restructuring and outsourcing (a particular expertise in the area of restructuring of companies and collective dismissal - inclusive of benchmarking - in cases of closure of companies, merger and transfer of companies or activities, as well as in-/outsourcing)
  • Social relations (we guide our clients in being compliant with the regulations in respect of communication to and consultation of employee representatives, including assistance with social elections and social conflicts)
  • Self-employed/employee status (assess the status applicable, social status of company officials, management company, etc)
  • Dismissal (We advise our clients in respect of individual dismissal, legal consequences of grounds for dismissal, dismissal of protected employees, etc)
  • Social audit (at the client’s request we can conduct an internal social audit or assist our clients in responding to the authorities in the case of an official social audit)
  • International mobility (we advise Belgian and foreign multinational companies on the international mobility of their employees within Europe or elsewhere with drafting the expatriation policies and contracts, social security benefits, request for immigration documents, etc)
  • Conflict control and representation before courts and tribunals

Our recent experience includes:

  • Assisting a US company, a world leader of forestry tool equipment on several matters, including new regulations and contract clauses, the new legislation on trade secrets, structuring and introducing new formats of flexible working.
  • Assisting the world leader in food packaging in its group merger from an employment law perspective and structuring the international mobility scenario of the top level employees, in addition to advising the company a multitude of employment law court cases, across privacy in the work place, dismissal cases, strategic international mobility, etc.
  • Being the go-to counsel and trusted advisor of a global cosmetic company on day-to-day HR law matters, as well as in relation to specific HR projects and challenges.
  • Assisting a major US NGO with the set-up of an HR environment – following Brexit, employment contracts, policies and with the EU privacy regulations in exchanging HR-related information between the EU and the US.
  • Being the go-to counsel and trusted advisor of family-owned and world leader in food additives; assisting the company with the contractual implementation of important changes to split-payroll schemes applied for internationally employed management level personnel, as well as advised on questions related to working time legislation, flexible working, GDPR and service providers agreements.
  • Advising a leading food producer on the new profit premium legislation applicable in Belgium. We did also advise them on the social security and tax treatment of stock options and warrants distributed by the company.
  • Performing a thorough audit on a major media player's international employment structure (employment contracts, policies, processes) and following the result of the audit put in place a new structure in respect of international mobility.
  • Assisting an automotive online services company with a case of dismissal for grave misdemeanour and a discrimination claim brought towards the company. We represent the company at this moment and have high level discussions with UNIA, the non-discrimination authority in Belgium.
  • Assisting an accountancy and business advisory client with an extensive study on the different employment law/social status existing in Belgium – all relevant employment law issues in respect of self-employed, platform worker, salaried employee and some other social statuses.
  • Assisting an advisory firm in major and high level immigration law cases to defend them against the Belgian government.
  • Assisting high-profile employees with the termination of their employment contract following an international career.

The practice has developed a specific expertise in Brexit related matters, and has published extensively on the topic in 2018-2019 (see articles on Insights page) as well as on the protection of trade secrets in an employment relationship and the socio-legal aspects of the new collaborative economy.

Spotlight

Our team publishes regularly and extensively on key employments topics which are most relevant to you: check out our latest publications. We are also an active player in the HR environment, whether it be by teaching (Stefan is a professor employment law at the University College of Brussels), presenting at seminars (European Academy of Law, Randstad University, American Bar Association, AMCHAM, ACC, etc) or being the counsel of official bodies such as the Belgian National Works Council (official body joining the social partners at the highest national level). As such we have a clear view on what is going on in the HR world.