BELGIUM : VOLUNTARY CORONA OVERTIME HOURS EXPANDED TO ALL SECTORS
In order to give the economy a boost, the social agreement of 2021-2022 provided for the granting of an additional 120 voluntary overtime hours for 2021 and 2022. Meanwhile, a draft law is also on the table.
So what does this mean for you?
In a previous article, we discussed the system of 120 voluntary corona overtime hours in the essential sectors. These voluntary corona overtime hours make it possible to work overtime without compensation time or a surcharge and without charging the internal overtime hours limit. Moreover, the voluntary corona overtime hours are exempted from social and fiscal deductions.
That system of voluntary corona overtime will now be expanded to all sectors. As a result of this expansion, the term ‘voluntary corona overtime’ will no longer be used, instead ‘relance’ or ‘recovery’ overtime hours will be used.
Employers and employees will therefore be able to use 120 extra hours of overtime per year for the years 2021 and 2022. These overtime hours can be worked from July 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021 and throughout the entire year of 2022.
Please note! If you are an employee or employer in an essential sector and have already used the voluntary corona overtime hours, you must deduct these from the 120 relance overtime hours.
The relance overtime hours will receive the same benefits as voluntary corona overtime hours. For example, on the relance overtime hours:
- no overtime surcharge needs to be paid;
- no social security contributions or taxes need to be paid;
- the internal overtime hours limit will not have to be charged.
In addition, you will also be able to make use of the ordinary voluntary overtime, of which you still have 100 available for the years 2021 and 2022. However, you do pay the overtime surcharge, social security and taxes on the voluntary overtime hours of the so-called basic quota.
There is no obligation to use up the ‘regular’ voluntary overtime hours first.
As indicated above, this is only a draft law and the final texts still need to be published. However, both the FPS ELSD (Ministry of Labour) and the NSSO have confirmed that they will accept the application of the above as from 1 July 2021.
For the tax authorities this is different.
They are awaiting the publication of the final legislative text, as a result of which, for the time being, wage withholding tax will still be payable on the relance overtime hours.
This will be able to be corrected afterwards.
Before you can make use of the relance overtime hours, you will need the written agreement of your employee. This agreement must be expressly documented prior to the performance of the overtime hours and is valid for a maximum period of 6 months.
Are you planning to use these relance overtime hours? Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about this!
 When an employee has accumulated a total of 143 overtime hours, you must first grant compensation time before any additional overtime hours may be worked. This is the so-called internal overtime hours limit.