JC 116 (chemical industry): the 2019-2020 national agreement has been concluded!

Author: Leen Lafourt

On 26 June 2019, the social partners of this joint committee concluded their 2019-2020 sector agreement. This agreement observes the maximum envelope for negotiation of 1.1% in 2019 and 2020 as prescribed by the R.D. of 19 April 2019. Free negotiations are possible for the companies covered under the agreement in accordance with the Royal Decree of 19 April 2019. In the case of companies not covered under the agreement, the social partners themselves have agreed on the arrangements.

Below, you will find a brief overview of the main subjects of the sector agreement. A detailed analysis can be found in our sector documentation.

Provisions with an impact on wages

Minimum hourly wage

The gross minimum starting hourly wage and the gross minimum hourly wage from 12 months of seniority (40 hours/week) increases:

  • by 0.12 EUR gross from 01 July 2019;
  • by 0.08 EUR gross from 01 January 2020.

These increases are not directive for the negotiations in the companies covered under the agreement.
On 1 January 2020, a gross minimum starting hourly wage of 11.65 EUR (40h/week) will be introduced for the students.

Shift bonuses

The minimum amounts of the shift bonuses shall be increased by 1,1 % gross as from 1 July 2019.

Companies not covered under the agreement

On 1 January 2020, there shall be a 1.1% increase in the gross monthly wages and the shift bonuses (insofar as they are expressed in terms of lump sum amounts) effectively paid in companies that are not bound by a CLA as regards the possible increase in purchasing power for the period 2019-2020.

Any increases in hourly wages and/or other benefits (other than wage indexation or increases in corporate scales) can be deducted from this. Any increases resulting from the increase in the sectoral minimum amounts may also be taken into account.

Soft end-of-career jobs

An employee who, from the age of 55, switches from a continuous regime or a fixed night shift to a day job (on the understanding that this might be a soft en-of-career job from the age of 58), shall temporarily and partially retain his shift bonus, according to the following terms and conditions:

Corporate seniority in a continuous regime or a fixed night shift

Partly retained shift bonus

10 years of seniority

During 2 months: 50 %

Subsequent month: 25 %

20 years of seniority

During 4 months: 50 %

Subsequent 2 months: 25 %

30 years of seniority

During 6 months: 50 %

Subsequent 3 months: 25 %

Additional allowances in case of partial unemployment

As from 1 July 2019, the additional unemployment allowance shall be 11 EUR/day of partial unemployment.

Compensation for dismissal due to economic, technical or structural reasons

Manual workers made redundant by their employer for economic, technical or structural reasons shall be entitled to a compensation from their employer:

  • After 1 year of service: 70 EUR;
  • After 2 years of service: 140 EUR;
  • After 5 years of service: 200 EUR, plus 20 EUR/year of service over 5 years.

Scheme of unemployment with corporate allowance (RCC/SWT)

For the period from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2021, the manual workers of this JC are entitled to:

  • RCC/SWT from the age of 59 years after a career of 40 years;
  • RCC/SWT from the age of 59 after a career of 35 years in an arduous occupation;
  • RCC/SWT from the age of 59 after a career of 33 years in an arduous occupation.

For the period from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020 (if possible extended to 30 June 2021), there is also a right to RCC/SWT for disabled workers and workers with serious physical problems from the age of 58 with a career of 35 years  as a salaried worker.

Time credit and end-of-career jobs

Half-time and full-time time credit with motive

For employees with 5 years of corporate seniority, the right to half-time and full-time time credit is extended to:

  • 51 months for the motive of care;
  • 36 months for the motive of training.

For full-time employees working in shifts, the company can, taking into account the good organisation of work, determine the concrete terms for the application of the 1/5th time credit.

End-of-career job without benefits

Manual workers with a professional career of at least 28 years who want to reduce their professional career by 1 day or 2 half days/week (within the framework of the right of older workers to en-of-career jobs without benefits) can do so from the age of 50.

Switch to RCC/SWT

If an employee switches from time credit to a form of RCC/SWT, the additional allowance shall be calculated on the basis of a full-time wage. This additional allowance shall be prorated in proportion to the periods of full-time and part-time employment over the entire career of the employee.

End-of-career jobs with benefits

For the period from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020 (as soon as possible extended to 30 June 2021), employees with a long career or arduous profession are entitled to:

  • a 1/5 end-of career job with benefits as from the age of 55;
  • a half-time end-of career job with benefits as from the age of 57.

Incentive bonuses

The system of regional incentives is extended from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2021.


Feasible and workable work

The interprofessional objective of an average of 5 days of training per full-time equivalent per year (within the framework of feasible and workable work) is concretised by the sectoral training effort of an average of 4 days per year per full-time equivalent. All companies must contribute to this.

Extension of the financing of the training fund

The financing of 0,20 % on gross wages is extended.


This national agreement is valid from 1 January 2019 until 31 December 2020, unless otherwise specified.

More information

This sector agreement will only become final after publication on the website of the FPS Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue. We will keep you informed.

Source: CLA concluded on 26 June 2019 in the Joint Committee for the chemical industry regarding the National Agreement 2019-2020.