New salary ceilings as from
1 January 2011

Salary ceilings are fixed for the implementation of certain stipulations of the law of 3 July 1978 concerning the employment contracts. On 1 January of each year these amounts are adapted in consideration
of the evolution of the salaries.

The principle of the annual adaptation of the salary ceilings for the implementation of the law of 3 July 1978 concerning 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, taking into consideration not only the indexation of the salaries, but also other increases, as may have been provided for in the collective labour agreements for the various business sectors.

As from 1 January 2011, the salary ceilings are adapted as follows:
- the first ceiling of EUR 30,327 became EUR 30,535;
- the second ceiling of EUR 36,355 became EUR 36,604;
- the third ceiling of EUR 60,654 became EUR 61,071.

The salary ceiling of EUR 30,535 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 (art. 104 for commercial representatives and art. 65 for the other employees);

the applicability of the legal minimum notice period to be respected by the employer towards white-collar workers (art. 82);

the determination of the length of the notice period to be respected by the white-collar workers (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 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 36,604 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 61,071 is relevant in connection with :

the possibility to include a non-compete obligation in the employment contract (art. 65);

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

the possibility to agree at the time of hiring on the length of the notice period to be respected by the employer (art. 82);

the determination of the maximum notice period to be respected by the white-collar workers (art. 82); and

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

26 January 2011

Marcel Houben