Further digitisation of collective labour agreements

Author: Laurence Philippe (Legal Expert)

Due to the coronavirus crisis, physical contact is strongly restricted. As a result, the conclusion and signing of handwritten collective labour agreements (CLAs) has become more complicated. Special Powers Decree No. 37 remedies this situation by confirming that CLAs can be signed and filed electronically.

This Decree confirms that the electronic signature is equivalent to the handwritten signature. Electronic signature refers only to signatures that are authenticated by an electronic identity card. As electronic signatures may be placed at different times, it is specified that the date of the CLA is the date mentioned in the agreement. Electronic signatures may only be affixed afterwards.

CLAs, deeds of accession or denunciation, signed by hand, must continue to be filed at the Registry of the FPS Employment, either by direct delivery of the deed or by post.

Electronically signed CLAs, deeds of accession or denunciation can be filed electronically since 1 March 2020. These documents must be filed on the website of the FPS Employment.

Moreover, since 3 July, the Joint Committees can validly meet in select committee.

Source: Special Powers Decree No. 37 of 24 June 2020 implementing Articles 2 and 5 of the Act of 27 March 2020 authorising the King to take measures in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 (II) to support the employees (chapter I), Belgian Official Gazette of 3 July 2020.

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