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GLOBAL: "The Role of the United States in the Harmonization Process: A Proposed Scorecard" article

GLOBAL: "The Role of the United States in the Harmonization Process: A Proposed Scorecard" article. 7-page article by Dan Malone, Director Global Automotive Practice, Butzel Long and published by BNA, Inc.

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back to index backGLOBALtalk July,  2014


Belgian Employment Law Reforms 2014

On 1 January 2014, legislation implementing a harmonized statute for blue-collar and white collar workers came into force. These new rules have fundamentally change Belgian employment law as a whole, particularly the rules on termination of employment.

Background
Under Belgian labour law, there has always been an essential difference between blue and white collar workers, based on the nature of their work.

A blue-collar worker essentially performs "manual labour", whereas a white-collar worker performs "intellectual labour".

However, the social and economic context has changed drastically since this distinction was introduced, making the distinction between the two categories theoretical and obsolete.

In a judgment in July 2011, the Belgian Constitutional Court held that the difference in treatment between blue and white collar workers in relation to notice periods and the so-called "carensday" (which is the unpaid first day of sick leave), solely based on the nature of their work, was neither objective nor well-founded and so non-compliant with the constitutional principles of equality and non-discrimination. The Constitutional Court gave the Belgian legislator until 8 July 2013 to come up with new rules, harmonizing the status of blue and white collar workers.

Reaching agreement about such drastic measures was never going to be easy, given that the difference between the two categories of worker formed a cornerstone of existing Belgian employment law. However, the social partners finally reached a political agreement on 5 July 2013. A first bill was submitted to the Federal Parliament on 26 November 2013, setting out new rules which came into force on 1 January 2014. The bill was passed on 26 December 2013 and published in the Belgian law gazette on 31 December 2013.

To download 15-page report, please click here.

Source: DLA Piper - GAI




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