From 1 January 2016 the severance pay of the worker who is dismissed with payment of a compensation in lieu of notice of at least 30 weeks will be reduced by 4 weeks' pay, irrespective of the worker's decision on the outplacement offer that is mandatory for the employer.
To recall, from 1 January 2014 the employer who dismisses a worker with the observance of a period of notice or payment of a compensation in lieu of notice covering at least 30 weeks is obliged to offer outplacement to the worker.
When the employer has offered outplacement to a worker who has been dismissed with payment of a severance pay a specific rule applies. The worker then receives a severance pay corresponding to a term of notice of at least 30 weeks reduced by 4 weeks representing the value of the outplacement.
However, the Single Employment Status Act says that, until 31 December 2015, the worker is entitled to his full severance pay, except if he accepts the outplacement offer. Only then the period covered by the severance pay is reduced by 4 weeks.
From 1 January 2016, the period covered by the severance pay will be reduced by 4 weeks, irrespective of the worker's decision (whether he accepts or refuses the outplacement offer).
Source: article 88 of the Act of 26 December 2013 introducing a single employment status for manual and non-manual workers for notice periods and waiting days and accompanying measures, Moniteur belge, 31 December 2013.
Author: Catherine Legardien