Each year in January, salaries are indexed for employees of companies subject to Joint Industrial Committee 200 (JIC 200).
Indexation is the mechanism whereby salaries are linked to the consumer prices index. More specifically, the monthly salary is increased by a percentage equal to the inflation rate of the previous calendar year. The indexation system as foreseen by JIC 200 is applicable to all employees falling under the scope of this Joint Industrial Committee. This indexation, when determined, will be applied to the employee’s salary in January of each year. The annual indexation rates are as follows:
Statutory minimum holiday entitlement in Belgium is 20 days. However, that entitlement depends on the length of time the employee worked during the preceding calendar year. If the employee has worked 12 months during the previous calendar year, he is entitled to 20 vacation days. If the employee has worked less than 12 months, he is entitled to a pro-rated portion of 20 days.
Example: If an employee has only have worked for two months in 2020, he will only be entitled to four days holiday during 2021. Additional days can be granted if required.
The public holidays in Belgium are as follows: New Year’s Day, Easter Monday, Labour Day, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, Belgian National Holiday, Assumption Day, All Saints Day, Armistice Day and Christmas Day.
When a public holiday falls on a Sunday or another day which is normally a non-working day (usually a Saturday), it must be replaced by a replacement day on a normal working day. In theory, in Belgium, employees cannot be required to work on public holidays. However, the employer is obliged to pay the employee a normal salary for that holiday.
The law of January 4, 1974 provides for the manner in which replacement days should be determined. In theory, the Joint industrial Committee competent for each sector may decide when replacement days shall fall. If the Joint industrial Committee has not taken its decision before the 1st of October, the company can make their own determination.
Working time and absence
The average work week consists of 38 hours with a maximum actual working time of 40 hours. In the case of a 39 or 40-hour working week, compensatory rest days have to be provided to employees in order to bring the average weekly hours down to 38 hours.
Overtime is payable for all hours worked above nine hours per day or 40 hours per week:
• Overtime on weekdays and Saturdays: +50%
• Overtime on Sundays and public holidays: +100%
All hours over 40 hours per week are to be recuperated. This recuperation may be replaced by cash payment under certain conditions.
An employee who works remotely from home is not subject to the working time provisions of the Act of 16 March 1971, and any hours worked by the employee outside regular business hours would not give rise to a right to salary, overtime pay or paid time.