Exemption from employing young workers under a 'first job agreement' (FJA) in JC 124, 126, 118 and 220, 120 and 214, 129 and 221

Author: Anne Ghysels (Legal Expert)
Date:

When certain conditions are met employers are obliged to employ a given number of young workers aged under 26. Except if they are exempted from this obligation.

Obligation to engage

Employers of the private sector employing at least 50 workers on 30 June of the previous calendar year are obliged to employ young workers aged under 26 at a given percentage of their total staff calculated in full-time equivalents: 3 % for the merchant sector and 1,5 % for the non-merchant sector.

Employers who employ less than 50 workers on 30 June of the previous calendar year must not meet this obligation.

Possible exemption

The act on the FJAs allows the FPS Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue to grant full exemption from this obligation to the sectors on request. This exemption is granted when the sector spends at least 0,15% of the quarterly wage bill in favour of 'risk groups' and, in addition to this, makes special efforts with regard to the recruitment of workers.

The following joint committees have made use of this possibility:

  • JC 124 (joint committee for the construction sector)
  • JC 126 (joint committee for the furniture and woodworking industry)
  • JC 118 and 220 (joint committees for the food industry)
  • JC 120 and 214 (joint committees for the textile industry)
  • JC 129 and 221 (joint committees for the production of pulp, paper and cardboard and for the paper industry)

Employers who fall under joint committees 124 or 126 for their manual workers and 220, 214 or 221 for their non-manual workers are exempt from the obligation to employ young people under the age of 26. The exemption is valid from 1 January 2022 until 31 December 2023.

Please note!

Employers coming under JC no. 140.01 or 140.03 for their manual workers are fully exempted, even if they employ non-manual workers and their staff consists of more non-manual workers than manual workers.

Sources:

  • Ministerial Decree of 21 June 2022 derogating from the obligation to employ young workers for companies which, for their manual workers, fall under the competence of the joint committee for the construction sector (JC 124), Belgian Official Gazette of 28.06.2022;
  • Ministerial Decree of 21 June 2022 derogating from the obligation to employ young workers for companies which, for their manual workers, fall under the competence of the joint committee for the furniture and woodworking industry (JC 126), Belgian Official of Gazette 28.06.2022;
  • Ministerial Decree of 21 June 2022 derogating from the obligation to employ young workers for companies which, for their manual workers, fall under the competence of the joint committee for the food industry (JC 118) and for their non-manual workers under the competence of the joint committee for the non-manual workers of the food industry (JC 220), Belgian Official Gazette of 28.06.2022;
  • Ministerial Decree of 21 June 2022 derogating from the obligation to employ young workers for companies which, for their manual workers, fall under the competence of the joint committee for the textile industry (JC 120) and for their non-manual workers under the competence of the joint committee for the non-manual workers of the textile industry (JC 214), Belgian Official Gazette of 28.06.2022;
  • Ministerial Decree of 21 June 2022 derogating from the obligation to employ young workers for companies which, for their manual workers, fall under the competence of the joint committee for the production of pulp, paper and cardboard (JC 129) and for their non-manual workers under the competence of the joint committee for the non-manual workers of the paper industry (JC 221), Belgian Official Gazette of 28.06.2022.

 

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