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Your payroll administration in Q4 – 2019

1. Eco vouchers

Conversion of eco vouchers before 31.10.2019 in JC 200
Companies that employ white-collar workers in the Joint Committee 200 are obligated to grant eco vouchers to these white-collar workers each year in June.

However, as an employer, you have the option of converting these eco vouchers into another equivalent benefit. If your white-collar workers already received eco vouchers in 2019, you can have the eco vouchers for 2020 converted into an equivalent benefit up until 31.10.2019, e.g. into a gross premium, a contribution to the group insurance, meal vouchers, etc.

This equivalent benefit may cost the employer a maximum of EUR 250.00 (for a full-time employment during the entire reference period).

Would you like more information about the possibility of converting the eco vouchers? We are happy to help you.

Granting eco vouchers in Q4.2019
In the 4th quarter of 2019, eco vouchers are to be granted in a number of joint committees, including:

(*) In most cases, part-time employees or employees who entered into or left service during the reference period are entitled to a pro rata allocation.

(**) In PC 112 the eco vouchers are to be granted in two instalments each year. The first instalment of EUR 125 must be granted by 15 June at the latest. The second instalment of EUR 125 must be granted by 15 December at the latest.

2. Training leave

As of 01.09.2019, companies that are active in the private sector and that are established in Flanders or have an operational seat in Flanders, must take into account the Flemish Training Leave (VOV), which replaces the paid educational leave.

As of September 2019, an employee can apply for training leave for training courses that are aimed at the labour market or the employee’s career and that are listed in the training course database. The employee has the right (under certain conditions) to take a maximum of 125 hours of training leave per school year, which means that he can be absent from work while the (ceiled) wage continues to be paid. Being the employer, you can get a fixed amount reimbursed by the Flemish government via the Work and Social Economy (WSE) desk at the end of the school year.

The employee applies for the training leave by providing the employer with a ‘certificate of enrolment’ from the training provider. This certificate must be delivered at the latest on 31 October of the current school year or within 15 days after school registration or after a change of employer.

3. Replacement holidays and collective closure

A public holiday which coincides with a Sunday or a day on which the company does not normally work must be replaced by an ordinary day of activity. In 2020, the following days coincide with a Sunday or a day on which no work is usually performed:

  • Assumption Day (Saturday 15 August 2020)
  • All Saints’ Day (Sunday 1 November 2020)

If the replacement day is not determined on a sectoral level, you must take action within your company before 15 December 2019. If you fail to do so, the public holiday will be replaced by the first day of activity of the company following the public holiday.

Don’t forget to determine the possible collective holidays of 2020 in time, according to the standard procedure!

4. Social elections

The social elections of 2020 are approaching rapidly. As previously announced, social elections will again take place in many Belgian companies between 11 and 24 May 2020. The total election procedure takes precisely 150 days.

The preparatory procedure will start in December 2019. Depending on the chosen election date, the start of this procedure will therefore take place between 11 and 24 December 2019. The following information must be provided in writing on the date of commencement:

  • determination of the number of technical business units or the changes with respect to the previous social elections on this subject;
  • the titles of executive and managerial staff;
  • the number of employees in each category, employed at that time;
  • the exact date of the elections.

You can always contact us for further information on this subject.

5. New reduction for works in immovable state

Do you have employees who perform works in immovable state on construction sites? Then you could possibly be exempted from paying part of the wage withholding tax for these employees and thus gain considerable savings on your labour costs. This measure was recently introduced and works retroactively.

This exempt part is calculated as a percentage of the corrected gross taxable remuneration of all eligible employees concerned. The exemption percentage is 3% for 2018 and 6% for 2019. As from 1 January 2020, this will increase to 18%!

Please note: this exemption cannot be combined with the already existing exemption from payment of part of the wage withholding tax for classic shift work or continuous shift work. Combining with other exemptions is allowed!

If desired, we will find out together with you what possibilities you have for remunerating your employees in the most optimal manner, from different points of view: labour law, social law and tax law.

6. No wage withholding tax for young school leavers during the last quarter of 2019

For a young person who enters your employment in the fourth quarter of 2019, no wage withholding tax will be due this year if the following conditions are met:

  • The young person has completed a course of study with a complete curriculum and is no longer a student (thesis, internship, etc.) and is no longer subject to compulsory education;
  • Prior to joining the company, he either did not work or only worked under a student contract (exempt from the NSSO);
  • The exemption from wage withholding tax only applies if he earns less than a taxable amount of € 3,350/month in the fourth quarter of 2019.


Publication date: 30 September 2019

BTW: BE 0449.399.317
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