Construction: more flexibility to come

Author: Laurence Philippe (Legal Expert)
Read time: 3min
Publication date: 05/07/2021 - 16:20
Latest update: 05/07/2021 - 16:22

Royal Decree No. 213 provides for the possibility for the construction sector (Joint Committee 124) of working additional hours with a favourable tax treatment during the summer or a period of intense activity. A preliminary draft law approved by the Council of Ministers aims to give more flexibility for doing and compensating these additional hours. However, the quota of 180 additional hours will not be increased.

Additional hours 'RD 213

In Joint Committee 124, 180 additional hours can be worked during the summer or a period of intense activity. In order to enable employees to work additional hours 'RD 213', the employer must follow a specific procedure.

Currently, employees can do one additional hour per day during these periods. Before the end of the pay period, the employee must choose between time off in lieu or payment for that hour. If the employee chooses to be paid out, he is entitled to a 20% wage supplement.

If the employee opts for time off in lieu, there is no wage supplement and the time off in lieu must be granted within 6 months following the pay period.

Flexibility announced

The preliminary draft law provides for an increase in the number of additional hours 'RD 213' that can be worked per day: from 1 to 1.5 hours.

It is also provided that the granting of time off in lieu must no longer take place within 6 months following the pay period, but within 12 months.

Favourable tax treatment

If a 20% wage supplement is paid for the additional 180 hours (no time off in lieu), the employer is exempt from the advance payment of withholding tax. The withholding tax which is not payable is equal to 32.19 % of the gross amount of the remuneration serving as a calculation basis for the legal wage supplement:

The employee benefits from a tax reduction (and a reduction of withholding tax) of 66.81% of the gross amount of the remuneration serving as a calculation basis for the legal wage supplement.

These tax benefits only apply for 180 hours (instead of 130) when the employer uses an electronic attendance recording system on the temporary or mobile construction sites.


Source: Preliminary draft law amending Royal Decree No. 213 of 26 September 1983 on working time in companies falling under the Joint Committee for Construction, approved by the Council of Ministers on 11 June 2021.


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