New salary ceilings
as from 1 January 2017

The law of 3 July 1978 relating
to the employment contracts

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 2017 the two existing salary ceilings are adapted as follows:

the ceiling of € 33,221 becomes € 33,472;

the ceiling of € 66,441 becomes € 66,944.

These salary ceilings are relevant with respect to the non-competition clause, the schooling clause and the arbitration clause.

1. The non-competition clause

For the commercial representatives the non-competition clause is valid only if the annual salary exceeds € 33,472.

For the other categories of workers the following applies:

if the annual gross salary does not exceed € 33,472, a non-competition clause in the employment contract is not valid;

if the annual gross salary exceeds the amount of € 33,472 without exceeding the amount of € 66,944, the non-competition clause is valid only for the functions, which have been listed in a (sector) collective labour agreement;

if the gross annual salary exceeds the amount of € 66,944, the non-competition clause is valid in principle, except for the functions, listed in a (sector) collective labour agreement.

2. The schooling clause

The schooling clause is a clause, pursuant to which employees, who participate in a training or education program at the expense of the employer, undertake to reimburse a part of that cost if they resign within a period, as agreed upon.

A schooling clause is valid only if the gross annual salary exceeds the amount of € 33.472.

3. The arbitration clause

This is a stipulation, according to which the employee and the employer undertake to submit possible future disputes to an arbitrator.
This stipulation is valid only for employees who meet both conditions:

they are in charge of the daily management of the company, or they have management responsibilities for a department or a unit, which are comparable to those for the company as a whole;

the annual salary exceeds the amount of € 66.944.

*   *   *

The notice period for white-collar workers, employed by their present employer
on 31 December 2013

Both salary ceilings mentioned above, as applicable on 31 December 2013 (respectively € 32,254 and € 64,508), remain relevant for the determination of the notice periods for white-collar workers, who were employed by their present employer on 31 December 2013, particularly with respect to the determination of the length of the notice period based on time of service up to 31 December 2013.

Since the law on the unified status blue-collar workers / white-collar workers, the total duration of the notice period is composed of two parts, that is, a first part based on the time of service up to 31 December 2013 and a second part based on the time of service as from 1 January 2014 up to the date of the notification of the notice (or the date of termination with immediate effect).

For the first part of the notice period, apart of the time of service up to 31 December 2013, also the annual remuneration is to be taken into consideration.

10 January 2017

Leila Mstoianleila.mstoian@peeters-law.be
Marcel Houbenmarcel.houben@peeters-law.be

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