By Roger James of Ogletree Deakins and Alexander Vandenbergen.
The Belgian government has announced a modification to the statutory minimum notice periods, which took effect earlier this year.
Belgian employment law has historically differentiated between “blue-collar” manual laborers and “white-collar” office workers. However, since reform in 2014, the same statutory notice periods have applied to both categories, and they are based on an employee’s length of service, or seniority.
Also, probationary periods have been abolished. To compensate, the government has introduced a more gradual increase of the notice period that the employer must observe during the first six months of employment. The notice period to be observed by the employee and the notice period to be observed by the employer after the first six months of employment remain the same.
The new notice periods are detailed below.
|Seniority||Previous notice period: employer||New notice period: employer||Notice period: employee|
|0 to less than 3 months||2 weeks||1 week||1 week|
|3 to less than 4 months||4 weeks||3 weeks||2 weeks|
|4 to less than 5 months||4 weeks||4 weeks||2 weeks|
|5 to less than 6 months||4 weeks||5 weeks||2 weeks|
|6 to less than 9 months||6 weeks||6 weeks||3 weeks|
|9 to less than 12 months||7 weeks||7 weeks||3 weeks|
|12 to less than 15 months||8 weeks||8 weeks||4 weeks|
|15 to less than 18 months||9 weeks||9 weeks||4 weeks|
|18 to less than 21 months||10 weeks||10 weeks||5 weeks|
|21 to less than 24 months||11 weeks||11 weeks||5 weeks|
|2 years to less than 3 years||12 weeks||12 weeks||6 weeks|
|3 years to less than 4 years||13 weeks||13 weeks||6 weeks|
|4 years to less than 5 years||15 weeks||15 weeks||7 weeks|
|5 years to less than 6 years||18 weeks||18 weeks||9 weeks|
|6 years to less than 7 years||21 weeks||21 weeks||10 weeks|
|7 years to less than 8 years||24 weeks||24 weeks||12 weeks|
|8 years to less than 9 years||27 weeks||27 weeks||13 weeks|
|9 years to less than 10 years||30 weeks||30 weeks||13 weeks|
|10 years to less than 11 years||33 weeks||33 weeks||13 weeks|
|11 years to less than 12 years||36 weeks||36 weeks||13 weeks|
|12 years to less than 13 years||39 weeks||39 weeks||13 weeks|
|13 years to less than 14 years||42 weeks||42 weeks||13 weeks|
|14 years to less than 15 years||45 weeks||45 weeks||13 weeks|
|15 years to less than 16 years||48 weeks||48 weeks||13 weeks|
|16 years to less than 17 years||51 weeks||51 weeks||13 weeks|
|17 years to less than 18 years||54 weeks||54 weeks||13 weeks|
|18 years to less than 19 years||57 weeks||57 weeks||13 weeks|
|19 years to less than 20 years||60 weeks||60 weeks||13 weeks|
|20 years to less than 21 years||62 weeks||62 weeks||13 weeks|
|21 years to less than 22 years||63 weeks||63 weeks||13 weeks|
|22 years to less than 23 years||64 weeks||64 weeks||13 weeks|
|23 years to less than 24 years||65 weeks||65 weeks||13 weeks|
|24 years to less than 25 years||66 weeks||66 weeks||13 weeks|
|25 years and greater||1 week / started year||1 week / started year||13 weeks|
The new notice periods have been in effect since May 1, 2018, and any shorter notice provision in an employment contract is now ineffective.
Compliments of Ogletree Deakins, a member of the EACCNY