Promoting permanent training of employees

Employment Alert

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The "Flexible and Workable Work" act (FWW-act) aims at encouraging employers to invest more in employee trainings by creating a new legal framework for permanent training of employees.

Contents

What did the previous legal framework provide?

Previously, all the companies pertaining to the private sector had to invest in the training of their employees. The combined value of this investment had to be at least 1,9% of the combined salary cost of all the companies.

Employers belonging to a sector which did not invest enough in these trainings, had to pay a financial contribution of 0,05% to support risk group initiatives.

However, in 2014, the Constitutional Court ruled that this situation was an infringement of the principles of equality and non-discrimination. As a result, the provisions were suspended and, up till now, had not been replaced by a new legal framework.

New legal framework of the FWW-act

The previous legal framework is entirely renewed.

The FWW-act introduces a cross-sectoral objective of average 5 training days per year and per full-time equivalent ('FTE'). For SME's, a divergent system will be determined by Royal Decree.

The FWW-act provides 3 possible ways to reach this objective.

First, the sector can take the initiative by:

  • Concluding a new collective bargaining agreement in a Joint (sub)Committee
  • Extending a collective bargaining agreement in force during 2013-2014 and 2015-2016

A new collective bargaining agreement must provide in an investment for companies at least equal to average 2 training days per FTE. In addition, it must also determine a plan to reach the cross-sectoral objective of average 5 training days per FTE per year.

If a collective bargaining agreement is extended, it has to maintain at least the existing training effort at sectoral level and provide in a growing path to reach the cross-sectoral objective.

Secondly, companies themselves must provide employee trainings by creating individual training accounts. This account contains credits the employee is entitled to, so he can participate in certified trainings. Further details about this account will be specified by Royal Decree.

Subsequently, if neither the sector nor the company has taken initiative, employees are entitled to 2 training days per year and per FTE. As a consequence, a company with 50 FTE's will have to organise 100 trainings days per year.

Actions

Without a sectoral collective bargaining agreement by 30 November 2017, companies will have to create individual training accounts to ensure employee trainings.

Return to "Workable work".