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Payroll administration Q1 – 2019

The wage amounts that have to be taken into account for the application of some employment conditions for blue-collar and white-collar workers will be adjusted again in 2019.



1. New wage limits 2019

The wage amounts that have to be taken into account for the application of some employment conditions for blue-collar and white-collar workers will be adjusted again in 2019.

These wage amounts are relevant for the assessment of the validity and/or the effect of:

  • a non-competition clause: in a non-competition clause, the employee will not engage in any similar activity when leaving the company, be it by operating a company himself or by joining a competitor.
  • an arbitration clause: in an arbitration clause, the employee and the employer will submit any disputes arising from the contract to arbitration in advance.
  • a training clause: in a training clause, an employee who is allowed to follow training at the employer’s expense during the execution of his employment contract will reimburse the employer for part of the training costs if he leaves the company before the end of an agreed period.

From 1 January 2019, the following wage limits will apply to:

  • the non-competition clause, with the exception of sales representatives: 69,639 euros
  • the non-competition clause applicable to sales representatives: 34,819 euros
  • the training clause: 34,819 euros
  • the arbitration clause: 69,639 euros

2. Social elections

The National Labour Council proposes that the social elections will take place between 11 and 24 May 2020.

In previous election editions, the reference period for calculating the employment threshold, which determines whether or not the employer is obliged to organise the social elections, was always the calendar year prior to the social elections.

However, the National Labour Council officially proposes to postpone the reference period by one quarter. In concrete terms, this would mean that the reference period would run from 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019 and has therefore in fact already started (!)

3. Modification of two forms of time credit

The Council of Ministers approved a draft Royal Decree amending the ‘time credit for end of career’ and the ‘thematic time credit motivated by continuing a course’.

The age limit for access to the time credit for the end of career will be raised to 60 years (currently 55 years). The thematic time credit motivated by the continuation of training in a bottleneck profession will be extended from 36 months to 48 months.

These two measures are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2019.

4. Home working alarm

Winter is coming and can cause a lot of traffic problems. For this reason, the RMI (Royal Meteorological Institute) activated a warning system as “a home working alarm”, starting from code orange. This should allow employers and employees to use homeworking on a large scale and thus reduce traffic flow.

The law on workable and agile work has created a legal framework for occasional teleworking. It allows employees to work from home occasionally and on an irregular basis for personal reasons or force majeure, subject to prior request and approval by the employer. An employer who refuses, must motivate this in writing.

In order to avoid that when the homework alarm is in force, each employee should have to request permission individually, the employer also has the possibility to lay down the framework within which the employees can occasionally request telework by means of a collective labour agreement or the work regulations. The modalities and procedures will then be included in this and it can therefore be included that in the case of homeworking alarms, tacit permission will apply to employees to work from home.

Of course, we can inform you further and assist you in drawing up these documents.

Publication date: 14 December 2018

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