Collective Bargaining In Belgium: The ILO Asks For Changes

Published date24 November 2022
Subject MatterEmployment and HR, Contract of Employment, Employee Benefits & Compensation
Law Firmlus Laboris
AuthorIus Laboris

A recent report from the International Labour Organization has concluded that the strict limits on private sector wage negotiations that apply in Belgium are incompatible with the right to collective bargaining.

On 6 December 2021, three Belgian trade union federations (the CSC, FGTB and CGSLB) lodged a joint complaint with the ILO. The complaint alleged that Belgium labour law (specifically a1996 law on protecting employment and safeguarding competitiveness, as amended in 2017) that imposes restrictions on private sector wage increases 'drastically restricts the possibility for the social partners to freely negotiate wage evolution for workers in the private sector'. The three trade union federations claimed this was contrary to Belgium's commitments under ILO Conventions 98 and 154, which protect the right to collective bargaining.

In a report published on 4 November 2022, the ILO's Committee on Freedom of Association examined the complaint and the operation of Belgium's private sector salary modification...

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