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Wage Norm Act and Interprofessional Agreement 2017–2018

March 2017

On 2 February 2017, the Federal Government approved the Interprofessional Agreement (IPA) . In the period 2017–2018, wage costs may increase by a maximum of 1.1%. The IPA will be implemented by CLAs entered into within the National Labour Council. On 9 March 2017, the Chamber approved the draft act amending the Wage Norm Act. Its provisions include modification of the sanction mechanism concerning the application of the wage norm by employers.


IPA 2017–2018: the most important topics

On the basis of the technical report of the Central Council for the Economy, the social partners agreed in the Interprofessional Agreement to set the wage norm (this is the maximum margin for the development of wage costs) for the period 2017–2018 at 1.1%. The wage norm will be determined in a CLA rendered generally binding and entered into within the National Labour Council.

A number of ongoing measures, such as the mechanism for the innovation premium, will be extended. In addition, a number of framework CLAs regarding bridging pension and end-of-career schemes will be modified. These CLAs will also be applicable for the period 2017–2018 and entered into within the National Labour Council, along with the CLA regarding the wage norm.

The social partners also agreed to tackle within the National Labour Council a number of social challenges, such as burn-out, future-oriented work organisation (including developing measures aimed at flexible work organisation, improving feasibility, work–life balance and new forms of employment), digitisation and the collaborative economy.


Wage Norm Act: the most important changes

Several modifications of the Wage Norm Act aim to continue the efforts already undertaken to promote employment (e.g. the tax shift, entailing a decrease in the social security contributions for employers to 25%) and eliminate the wage gap with our neighbouring countries (see also Eubelius Spotlights March 2015).

The sanction mechanism is modified, and the procedural rules of the Social Penal Code are made applicable to the violation and sanctioning of the wage norm. The wage norm cannot be exceeded by CLAs or individual agreements. To track down companies violating the wage norm, the public servants entrusted with the control of the wage norm can use data from the National Service for Social Security and the annual accounts filed with the National Bank of Belgium, in particular section 62. The administrative fine that can be imposed on employers in the event that the wage norm is exceeded amounts to between EUR 250 and EUR 5,000. The fine will be multiplied by the number of workers concerned, up to a maximum of 100 workers.

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Disclaimer

The legal topics discussed in these Spotlights are for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Eubelius cannot be held liable for any damage incurred by the use of the information contained in Eubelius Spotlights. Should you wish to receive legal advice, please contact a qualified attorney who will advise you on the basis of your personal situation. Eubelius is not responsible for the content available on external websites linked to our Spotlights.

Disclaimer

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