european e w handbook - · pdf file2 ogletree deakins european employment law handbook...

Click here to load reader

Post on 09-Oct-2019

0 views

Category:

Documents

0 download

Embed Size (px)

TRANSCRIPT

  • 20 19

    EU RO

    PE AN

    Em pl

    oy m

    en t L

    aw

    Ha nd

    bo ok

  • 2

    OGLETREE DEAKINS EUROPEAN EMPLOYMENT LAW HANDBOOK

    INTRODUCTION

    Welcome to the Ogletree Deakins European Employment Law Handbook—a handy guide to the employment

    laws of 17 European countries.

    Employment laws vary considerably throughout Europe, even among the member nations of the European

    Union (EU), which can each have quite different versions of EU directives. The implementation of these laws

    also can be very different, with the collective negotiation environment of works councils and unions being

    widespread in some countries and almost nonexistent in others.

    We recognize that it can be time-consuming and confusing to manage employees across different European

    countries, so we hope this handbook is a helpful starting point for your employment law queries. Our

    attorney-authors have extensive experience dealing with human resources issues throughout Europe. Our

    team is supplemented by close relationships with handpicked local counsel from highly rated law firms. We

    appreciate their help in creating this handbook.

    Please note that the information contained in this handbook is current as of January 1, 2019. The laws

    referred to herein are subject to change, and the information is not legal advice.

    If you have any questions, or would like to know how the Ogletree Cross Border Practice Group can help

    with your employment law issues in Europe, please contact us. We look forward to speaking to you.

    Diana J. Nehro, Chair, Cross-Border Practice Group

    [email protected] 599 Lexington Avenue

    Suite 1700 New York, NY 10022

    646-283-2037

    [email protected] St Pauls House

    8-12 Warwick Lane London EC4M 7BP

    +44 (0)20 7822 7627

    Roger James, Partner, European Contact,

    Cross-Border Practice Group

  • EUROPEAN HANDBOOK

    3

    INDEX

    BELGIUM

    CZECH REPUBLIC

    DENMARK

    FINLAND

    FRANCE

    GERMANY

    HUNGARY

    IRELAND

    ITALY

    THE NETHERLANDS

    NORWAY

    POLAND

    ROMANIA

    SPAIN

    SWEDEN

    SWITZERLAND

    UNITED KINGDOM

    4

    16

    29

    41

    55

    69

    83

    93

    105

    118

    135

    148

    160

    175

    185

    199

    211

  • EUROPEAN HANDBOOK

    4

    BELGIUM

    CORPORATE REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

    EMPLOYMENT STATUS AND HIRING OPTIONS

    A foreign entity can engage people directly in Belgium and does not need to set up a local subsidiary. Whether or not

    there is a local subsidiary, payroll registration is required, and employers are required to withhold income taxes and

    social security taxes from payments to employees—in contrast to independent contractors, who are paid gross and are

    responsible for their own taxes.

    The two main methods of engagement are as an employee or a self-employed independent contractor (sometimes also

    called a consultant). While an employee works under the authority of his or her employer, a self-employed worker has

    freedom and autonomy in organizing his or her work.

    Whether a person is working as an employee or on a self-employed basis depends on the facts rather than the type of

    contract used. Key factors to determine this are (a) the will of the parties, (b) the freedom to organize one’s work and

    working time, and (c) the possibility of (hierarchical) control.

    Employees are protected by Belgian employment law and adhere to the social security scheme for employees. A self-

    employed individual does not benefit from employment law protection. However, there are tax advantages to being self-

    employed.

  • EUROPEAN HANDBOOK

    5

    BELGIUM

    EMPLOYMENT STATUS AND HIRING OPTIONS

    RECRUITMENT

    Different types of employment rights can apply to blue- and white-collar workers, students, sales representatives, remote

    workers, and agency workers.

    Probationary Periods

    Probationary periods are not allowed, except for student employment agreements and temporary agency work

    agreements, where they are limited to the first three working days.

    The following steps are required on recruitment of an employee:

    • Register with the National Office for Social Security (RSZ - ONSS) and the office for direct taxes (known as a Dimona

    declaration)

    • Subscribe to industrial accidents insurance with a recognized insurance company. This covers medical costs and an

    employee’s income if he or she becomes unfit for work as a result of an industrial accident.

    • Set up an internal health and safety service. An employer must appoint a minimum of one health and safety advisor (for

    companies with fewer than 20 employees, this can be the employer) and sign up to a recognized external health and

    safety service for medical health checks and other advise on health and safety in case the employer does not have the

    requisite knowledge.

    • Appoint an authorized agent to keep the compulsory employment documents and act as a post box to which all official

    correspondence is sent by the RSZ - ONSS.

    • Where applicable, notify posted (seconded) workers and self-employed persons temporarily or partially employed or

    established in Belgium from another country (known as a LIMOSA notification):

  • EUROPEAN HANDBOOK

    6

    BELGIUM

    Written employment contracts are not mandatory but

    frequently used. However, certain contracts (fixed-term

    employment, part-time employment, remote working

    arrangements, student work) and clauses (noncompete)

    must be in writing.

    Legally Required Policies

    1. Work regulations: All employers must draw up work

    regulations that contain all the salary and work conditions

    applicable within the company.

    2. Human resources data protection notice

    Common Additional Policies

    1. Car policy

    2. Use and monitoring of electronic devices/

    3. communications policy

    4. CCTV policy

    5. Reimbursement of cost policy

    6. Remote work policy

    Language Requirements for Documents

    There are strict laws requiring all documents that contain

    terms of employment or other key information (including

    bonus plans) to be in the local language. The language in

    question depends on the location in Belgium:

    • Brussels region: French for French-speaking members of

    staff and Dutch for Dutch-speaking members of staff

    • Flemish region: Dutch

    • Walloon region: French

    • German-language region: German

    Other Sources of Terms of Employment

    Collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) are widespread

    and provide employees with certain rights. There are

    national, industry-level, and company-level CBAs.

    1. 1. National-level agreements concluded in the National

    Labour Council, which apply to all employers in the

    private sector: cover general employment rules (e.g.,

    CBA 5 on trade union delegation, CBA 109 on unfair

    dismissal)

    2. Industry-level agreements concluded in a Joint

    Labour Committee (JLC), which apply to all

    employers in a particular industry (e.g., health

    care, construction, retail, insurance, banking):

    cover minimum salaries, job descriptions, working

    time arrangements, and training requirements.

    A company belongs in principle to just one JLC, and

    this is determined by the company’s main activity.

    3. Company-level agreement concluded between a

    particular employer and trade unions: cover specific

    employment and salary conditions for that company

    only.

    REGULATION OF THE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP

  • EUROPEAN HANDBOOK

    7

    BELGIUM

    Employees are entitled to 20 working days’ annual holidays

    when working a five-day week. Those working shorter

    weeks have a proportionate entitlement. CBAs at industry

    level or company level can grant additional holidays.

    Employees are entitled to 10 public holidays on top of their

    annual holidays:

    • New Year’s Day – January 1

    • Easter Monday

    • Labour Day – May 1

    • Ascension Day

    • Whit Monday

    • Independence Day – July 21

    • Assumption Day – August 15

    • All Saints’ Day – November 1

    • Armistice Day – November 11

    • Christmas Day – December 25

    If an employee is required to work a public holiday, he or

    she is entitled to a day off in lieu.

    Employees are not allowed to work more than 38 hours

    a week on an average basis and hour hours a day (see

    below for circumstances in which overtime is allowed).

    Sunday work, night work, or work on public holidays

    is not allowed for most employees (although there are

    exceptions). Working time rules do not apply for sales

    representatives and employees with a (leading) function

    or in a trust position.

    Opt-outs from the working time limits are not generally

    allowed.