Blue-collar workers and white-collar workers …
quo vadis as from Monday, 8 July ?

The Constitutional Court gave time to the legislator (and the industrial relations partners) up to 8 July 2013 to unify the legal status of blue-collar workers and white-collar workers or, at least, to harmonize the duration of the termination
notices for both categories of workers.


Sunday, 7 July 2013, at midnight, it will be too late!

If the legislator and/or the industrial relations partners fail to reach an agreement, the legal basis for determining the duration of the termination notices disappears for the blue-collar workers who were hired by their current employer prior to 1 January 2012 and who do not fall within the scope of a labour-management committee within the framework of which the termination notices have been determined for the blue-collar workers pursuant to article 61 of the law relating to employment contracts.


As a result of legal tinkering work of the past, differing termination notices apply at present depending on whether the blue-collar workers and the white-collar workers were hired by their present employer prior to or after 1 January 2012.

As a result of the decision of the Constitutional Court, holding article 59 of the law relating to employment contracts to be unconstitutional, this article 59 shall cease to have effect as from 8 July 2013 and only a legal vacuum remains for determining the duration of the termination notices for the category of blue-collar workers referred to above.

Based on the philosophy of the Constitutional Court (discrimination and, therefore, annulment of the article applicable to the blue-collar workers), logically, the termination notices for the white-collar workers should be applied.

However, even then the question remains which rules should be applied, that is the ones which apply to the white-collar workers hired prior to 1 January 2012 or the rules applicable to the white-collar workers hired as from that date.

In any event, the 65-dollar question is which judge shall (dare) to render such a Salomon judgment without a solid legal basis.

04 July 2013

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

This post has also appeared on www.express.be, that you can consult by clicking here.

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