New salary ceilings
as from 1 January 2013

The law of 3 July 1978
relating to the employment contracts

The principle of the annual adaptation of the salary ceilings for the implementation of the law of 3 July 1978 relating to the employment contracts is laid down in article 131 of the law.

Accordingly, the salary ceilings are adapted annually, as from 1 January, in consideration of the evolution of the salaries, as fixed in accordance with the collective labour agreements for the private sector.

As from 1 January 2013, the salary ceilings are adapted as follows:

-     the first ceiling of EUR 31,467 becomes EUR 32,254;

-     the second ceiling of EUR 37,721 becomes EUR 38,665;

-     the third ceiling of EUR 62,934 becomes EUR 64,508.

The salary ceiling of EUR 32,254 is relevant in connection with :

the possibility to include a schooling clause in the employment contract (art. 22bis);

the possibility to provide for a non-compete obligation in the employment contract for commercial representatives (art. 104), the employment contract for blue-collar workers (art. 65) and the employment contract for white-collar workers (art. 86);

the determination of the length of the notice period to be respected by the employer towards white-collar workers (art. 82 for the employment contracts, if the performance thereof started prior to 1 January 2012; art. 86/2 for the other employment contracts);

the determination of the length of the notice period to be respected by the white-collar workers, in as far as the performance of the employment contract started prior to 1 January 2012 (art. 82);

the determination of the length of the counter notice to be respected by the white-collar workers (art. 82);

the right of the white-collar workers to absence from work during the notice period (art. 85).

Depending on whether the annual gross remuneration is lower or higher than the second salary ceiling in the amount of EUR 38,665, the maximum duration of the probation period for white-collar workers is respectively 6 and 12 months (art. 67).

The third salary ceiling of EUR 62,934 is relevant in connection with :

the possibility to include a non-compete obligation in the employment contract for blue-collar workers (art. 65) and the employment contract for white-collar workers (art. 86);

the possibility to provide for an arbitration clause in the employment contract for white-collar workers (art. 69);

the possibility to agree at the time of hiring on the length of the notice period to be respected by the employer towards the white-collar workers (art. 82 for the employment contracts, if the performance thereof started prior to 1 January 2012; art. 86/2 for the other employment contracts);

the determination of the maximum notice period to be respected by the white-collar workers (art. 82 for the employment contracts, if the performance thereof started prior to 1 January 2012; art. 86/2 for the other employment contracts); and

the determination of the maximum duration of the counter notice to be respected by white-collar workers (art. 84).

08 January 2013

Marcel Houben - marcel.houben@peeters-law.be