Service vouchers in the Walloon region: more protection for workers

Author: Laurence Philippe (Legal Expert)
Date:

In order to be recognized, companies that employ workers under service vouchers must meet several standards. Since the service vouchers sector is regionalized, these standards vary from region to region. The Walloon Region has recently adapted the conditions under which establishment units can be recognized in the Walloon Region. The main changes are explained below. 

Minimum working time

As from the 4th calendar year after the year of recognition, the average weekly working time of workers must be at least 19 hours. 
This average does not apply individually per worker but for all workers combined who are employed in the establishment unit in the Walloon Region. The rules of application for this measure are still to be determined. For example, it is not yet known how this average will be calculated. However, the Walloon Public Service already clarifies that overtime hours of part-time workers, as well as hours worked under an addendum to the employment contract, are not taken into account.
Checks of this average weekly working time will occur in February with the first check in February 2023. 

Training

Recognized companies must also provide a minimum of 9 hours of training per year to each individual worker (for a full-time worker).
The targeted training is vocational training to acquire skills related to activities carried out under service vouchers, as well as training to promote mobility within or outside the sector. 

Well-being at work and written agreement

The Walloon Decree establishes several measures to ensure the well-being at work of workers in the sector. Henceforth, a written agreement between the user and the recognized company must be concluded, specifying the conditions for the performance of the services and the obligations of the service voucher user. This agreement will include a reminder of the prohibition of discrimination and harassment. 

Entry into force and penalties

The decree will enter into force as of 1 January 2022. 
Failure to comply with these new obligations can be punished by an administrative fine.

Sources: 
Decree of 9 December 2021, amending the Law of 20 July, 2001, promoting neighbourhood services and jobs, Belgian Official Gazette 24.12.2021.
News from the PWS of 21 December, 2021.

 

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