Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced several labour market reforms during his policy statement on 12 October 2021.
A brief overview of the main reforms:
- prevention of long-term incapacity for work by reinforcing the return-to-work approach by giving a sense of responsibility to all stakeholders involved (health insurance funds, employers, prescribers, employees and regions);
- further development of the reintegration process;
- no more medical certificates for 1-day absences (maximum 3 times a year), except in SMEs;
- 4-day week: distribution of the weekly working time over 4 days per week;
- recording of working time (European case law);
- right to disconnect;
- teleworking: adaptation of the framework;
- e-commerce and night work: relaxation of the framework;
- individual right to training: 5 days of training per year per full-time equivalent (by 2024);
- bottleneck occupations' plan: actions to fill bottleneck vacancies (partial and temporary cumulation of unemployment benefits with a wage in a bottleneck occupation, etc.);
- reform of the special social security contribution and optimisation of the work bonus;
- professional sportspersons: modification of the calculation method of the social security contributions;
- reduction of employers' social security contributions for the first hiring: introduction of a wage threshold of €4,000;
- foreign executives: reform of the favourable tax regime for 'expats';
- fight against tax fraud;
- exemption from payment of withholding tax: fight against abuse.
These reforms still have to be transposed into legal or regulatory texts.
Some reforms require prior consultation, in particular at regional level and with the social partners.
We will keep you updated as soon as we have more details.