Member News

Belgium: New Statutory Notice Periods

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

Comment

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