Every two years, the Belgian Central Economic Council (CCE/CRB) publishes a report about the margin available for wage cost development. For the period 2021-2022, the available margin is 0.4 %.
To arrive at this percentage, the CCE/CRB looks, on the one hand, at the outlook of the development of wage costs in neighbouring countries and the automatic wage indexation in Belgium. On the other hand, it looks at the possible wage gap between Belgium and 3 reference countries (Germany, the Netherlands and France). The coronavirus crisis also added to the difficulty of determining the percentage this year.
Inter-professional Agreement (IPA)
With this margin of 0.4%, the Group of 10 will then start working on finalising the wage standard in the biennial inter-professional agreement.
It is important to note that the margin established by the CCE/CRB is a maximum margin for the wage cost development. Thus negotiations between the social partners cannot lead to a decision to apply a higher percentage. They can only confirm the 0.4 % or award a lower percentage.
The wage standard determines how much wage costs may increase during a period of 2 years, i.e. from 01.01.2021 up to and including 31.12.2022.
Remark: Wage scale increases on the basis of seniority, normal promotions or individual category changes to which your employees are entitled and the guaranteed index increases are in addition to the wage standard.
We are monitoring the subject closely for you and will inform you immediately of any new developments.
Source: Technical Report on the maximum available margin for wage cost development: https://www.ccecrb.fgov.be/dpics/fichiers/2021-01-14-05-03-51_CCE20210100Rapporttechnique2020.pdf.