Social Agreement (partly) implemented!

Author: Leen Lafourt (Legal Expert)
Date:

On 15 July 2021, the CLAs implementing the social agreement concluded in June by the Group of 10 were signed in the National Labour Council (NLC). These CLAs concern the increase of the average monthly guaranteed minimum wage (AMGMW), the reduced age for RCC/SWT (system of unemployment with company supplement) and end-of-career jobs and the postponement of the harmonisation of the supplementary pension.

Below you will find a overview of the different CLAs concluded and their contents.

CLA No 43/15: Average monthly guaranteed minimum wage minimum wage (AMGMW)

On 1 April 2022, the minimum wage for employees aged 21 and over increases by 76.28 EUR to 1,702 EUR. The current age and seniority conditions are abolished, leaving only one minimum wage.
The increase in this cost for the employer is compensated by social and fiscal measures.

Since this increase may not have any impact on the average minimum wage of employees under 21 years of age, the percentages included in CLA No. 50 will be adjusted simultaneously.

On 1 April 2024 and 1 April 2026 the AMGMW will be increased by 35 EUR gross each time.

CLAs No. 150, 151 and 152: RCC/SWT (system of unemployment with company supplement)

The following systems of unemployment with company supplement will be extended by concluding new CLAs:

CLA No. 150

RCC/SWT from 58 years with an occupational history of at least 35 years for some older disabled employees and employees with serious physical problems

From 01/01/2021 to 30/06/2023

No sector CLA required

CLA No. 151

RCC/SWT from 60 years with an occupational career of at least 33 years of which 20 years in a scheme of night work or for at least 5 (7) years during the last 10 (15) calendar years before the end of the employment contract in a heavy occupation or who have worked in the construction industry and are incapable to work

From 01/01/2021 to 30/06/2023

Implementation by means of a sector CLA (1)

CLA No. 152

RCC/SWT from the age of 60 with an occupational career of 40 years as a wage earner.

From 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2023

No sector CLA required

(1) If no sector CLA has been concluded because the JC to which the employer belongs has not been established or does not operate, this system of unemployment with company supplement can nevertheless be granted by a collective labour agreement, by an act of accession (annexed to CLA No. 151) or by an amendment to the work regulations

At the same time, CLAs No. 153, 154 and 155 were concluded, which govern the exemption from the obligation of availability for work.

CLAs No. 156 and 157: End-of-career jobs

On the basis of CLA No. 156, employees with long careers, heavy occupations or from a company in difficulty or undergoing restructuring can, for the period 2021-2022, again benefit from a 1/5th end-of-career job with benefits from the age of 55. For a half-time end-of-career job with benefits, the age is even reduced from 57 to 55 years.

At the same time, a CLA No. 157 has already been concluded in the NLC which provides for an extension of these provisions for the period from 01.01.2023 to 30.06.2023.

Please note: In order to benefit from this reduced age limit, a CLA must still be concluded in the JC to which your company belongs. If no sector CLA has been concluded because the your JC has not been established or does not operate, you can nevertheless join the CLA No. 156 by a collective labour agreement, by an act of accession (annexed to CLA No. 156) or by an amendment to the work regulations.

More information can be found in next infoflash: Benefits for an 'end of career' time credit before the age of 60: reintroduction!

CLA No. 158: Supplementary pension

The Supplementary Pensions Act of 28 April 2003 (SPA) stipulates that all differences between manual workers and non-manual workers as regards supplementary pensions must be eliminated by 1 January 2025. This deadline is now extended by 5 years to 1 January 2030.
However, to make the postponement to 1 January 2030 permanent, the Supplementary Pensions Act must be amended. This cannot be done by the social partners themselves, but requires government intervention.

CLA No. 158 stipulates that at least 0.1% of the wage margin of each Interprofessional Agreement (IPA) concluded between 2023 and 2028 must be used to achieve the harmonisation of supplementary pensions by 1 January 2030.

CLA No. 159: Extension of simplified access to temporary unemployment for economic reasons for non-manual workers

The simplified access to temporary unemployment for economic reasons for non-manual workers included in CLA No. 148 is extended until 30 June 2023.

We will inform you about this in more detail in a separate infoflash soon.

Government initiative

As mentioned above, not all subjects of the social agreement can be dealt with by the social partners themselves.

Several subjects implementing the social agreement have already been approved by the Council of Ministers and will soon become final:

  • Extension of the 120 additional voluntary overtime hours (recovery hours) already granted in 2020 and 2021 to key sectors to all sectors;
  • Extension of the favourable tax regime for 'regular' overtime;
  • Amendment of the Supplementary Pensions Act;
  • Efforts in favour of risk groups;
  • One-time innovation premium;
  • Tax and social provisions relating to the AMGMW;
  • Exemption from first employment obligation;
  • Funding of the public contribution under the 80/20 system (80 % employer's contribution to public transport);
  • Extension of the 1,800 EUR fine for failure to offer outplacement services

We are now waiting for the final laws and royal decrees. As soon as we have them, we will inform you immediately.

Wage standard and corona premium

Here too, we are still waiting for the final confirmation of the wage standard of 0.4% and the corona premium of 500 EUR. The draft Royal Decree on the corona premium was approved in second reading by the Council of Ministers last week. The wage standard has already been passed by the Council of Ministers.

We expect both texts to be published shortly and will not fail to inform you of this.

Over to the sectors

Once all the texts are finalised, the sectoral social partners can start their negotiations.

As soon as agreements are concluded in your sector, we will inform you immediately via our sector documentation .

Sources:

  • NLC advice No. 2,237 of 15 July 2021: Agreements Framework of 25 June 2021 - Implementation;
  • CLA No 43/15 of 15.07.2021 amending CLA No. 43 of 2 May 1988 concerning the guarantee of an average minimum monthly income, concluded for an indefinite period;
  • CLA No. 50/4 of 15.07.2021 amending CLA No. 50 of 29 October 1991 concerning the guarantee of an average minimum monthly income for employees under 21 years of age, concluded for an indefinite period;
  • CLA No. 150 of 15.07.2021 laying down, for the period from 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2023, the conditions for granting a company supplement in the context of unemployment with a company supplement for certain older disabled workers with serious physical problems, if they are made redundant, in force from 01.01.2021 to 30.06.2023;
  • CLA No. 151 of 15.07.2021 laying down, for the period from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2023, the conditions for granting a company supplement under an unemployment system with a company supplement for certain older employees who are made redundant and who have worked for 20 years in a scheme of night work, who have worked in a heavy occupation or who have worked in the construction industry and are incapable to work, in force from 01.07.2021 to 30.06.2023;
  • CLA No. 152 of 15.07.2021 introducing, for the period from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2023, a system of company supplement for some older employees with long careers who are made redundant, in force from 01.07.2021 to 30.06.2021;
  • CLA No. 156 of 15.07.2021 laying down, for 2021 and 2022, the interprofessional framework for adjusting the age limit to 55 years, as regards access to the right to end-of-career job benefits, for employees with long careers, heavy occupations or from companies in difficulty or undergoing restructuring, in force from 01.01.2021 to 31.12.2022;
  • CLA No. 157 of 15.07.2021 laying down, from 1 January 2023 to 30 June 2023, the interprofessional framework for adjusting the age limit to 55 years, as regards access to the right to end-of-career job benefits, for employees with long careers, heavy occupations or from companies in difficulty or undergoing restructuring, in force from 01.01.2023 to 30.06.2023;
  • CLA No. 158 of 15.07.2021 allocating part of the wage margin to eliminating the difference between non-manual workers and manual workers with regard to supplementary pensions, in force from 01.01.2023 to 01.01.2029;
  • CLA No. 159 of 15.07.2021 establishing a scheme of total suspension of the performance of the employment contract and/or a scheme of partial work in case of lack of work due to economic reasons for non-manual workers as a result of the socio-economic situation caused by the corona crisis, in force from 01.01.2022 to 30.06.2023;
  • Decisions of the Council of Ministers of 20 July 2021.

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