Last night, a wage agreement was reached for the private sector: the wage margin is set at 0.4% for the next two years. Companies delivering good results can grant their employees a premium of up to € 500 net.
Wage agreement gets green light
After months of negotiations, the federal government concluded a wage agreement last night. This agreement was reached after negotiations between the social partners broke down, bringing the government into the wage consultations.
In terms of content, the following elements are already known:
- The wage standard is set at 0,4 %;
- It is possible to grant a premium of up to € 500 under certain conditions. This premium comes on top of the wage standard of 0.4% and the automatic wage indexation;
- The federal government also believes minimum wages should be increased.
Margin of 0.4 % and premium of € 500 net
The wage standard of 0.4% was proposed earlier. This standard was calculated by the Belgian Central Economic Council (CCE/CRB) and implies that wages can increase by a maximum of 0.4% on top of automatic indexation. This was the basis for negotiations between the social partners.
The government has now confirmed this percentage, but on top of this increase comes the possibility of granting a net premium to employees. This premium can amount to a maximum of € 500 and is reserved for companies delivering good economic results.
The concrete conditions and application of these premiums will be the subject of further negotiations between the social partners, which will take place at company level, not at sector level.
The federal government also believes that the minimum wage should be increased. This increase can be done in stages, and therefore does not necessarily have to take place in the next two years. The government envisages tax cuts to help the financing of the minimum wage increase.
The trade unions and employers’ organisations must now continue to negotiate these minimum wages, but the government promises to support that effort.