New 'CPE' exemptions

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, unless they are exempt from this obligation.

Hiring obligation

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

Possible exemption

The act on the CPEs 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 hiring of workers.

The JCs

  • 124 (JC for the building industry)
  • 126 (JC for upholstering and carpentry)
  • 129 and 221 (JC for the production of pulp, paper and cardboard and the paper-making industry)
  • 120 and 214 (JC for the textile industry)

have made use of this possibility.

Employers coming under JC no.  124, 126, 120 or 129 for their manual workers and/or JC no. 214 or 221 for their non-manual workers are exempted from the obligation to hire young workers aged under 26. The exemption applies  

  • From 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020 for JCs 124, 126, 120 and 214
  • From 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2021 for JCs 129 and 221.

Employers coming under JC 124 and 126 for their manual workers are fully exempt, even if they employ non-manual workers and their staff consists of more non-manual workers than manual workers.

Sources:

  • Ministerial Decree of 4 May 2020 exempting companies that come under the competence of the Joint Committee for the Construction Industry (JC 124) for their manual workers from the obligation to employ young workers, Belgian Official Gazette of 13.05.2020;
  • Ministerial Decree of 4 May 2020 exempting companies that come under the competence of the Joint Committee for the upholstery and woodworking industry (JC 126) for their manual workers from the obligation to employ young workers, Belgian Official Gazette of 13.05.2020;
  • Ministerial Decree of 4 May 2020 exempting companies that come under the competence of the Joint Committee for the production of pulp, paper and cardboard (JC 129) for their manual workers and under the joint committee for non-manual workers in the paper industry (JC 221) for their non-manual workers from the obligation to employ young workers, Belgian Official Gazette of 13.05.2020;
  • Ministerial Decree of 4 May 2020 exempting companies that come under the competence of the Joint Committee for the textile industry (JC 120) for their manual workers and under the joint committee for non-manual workers in the textile industry (JC 214) for their non-manual workers from the obligation to employ young workers, Belgian Official Gazette of 13.05.2020.

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