Legal insights

MLC entered into force in Belgium on 21 August 2014

In our previous newsflash about the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) we stated that the Belgian ratification process was delayed. The reason for this was the necessary approval by all our different parliamentary assemblies , which took longer than expected.

On 20 August 2013 Belgium ratified the MLC and became the 46th country and 19th European member state to ratify the convention. On that same day, the MLC entered into force worldwide.

BELGIAN LEGAL INTEREST RATE FOR THE YEAR 2014

The legal interest rate for the year 2014 is 2.75% per annum (publication in the Belgian Official Gazette of 20 January 2014). The interest rate of 2013 was 2.75%;

For more information, please contact Philippe Van Dijck or Peter Van de Vijver.

 

SECOND ROYAL DECREE CONCERNING NEW BELGIAN LAW ON PIRACY

On 2 April 2013 the second Royal Decree concerning the new Belgian Law on Piracy was published. The Royal Decree regulates all the reports that a shipowner and/or operator of a ship must file when he wants to use a maritime security company.

Thus, the contract with a maritime security company needs to be reported to the Belgian government. A copy of this contract needs to be sent to both the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Mobility and Transport.

LAW CONCERNING THE COMBATING OF MARITIME PIRACY

A new law on maritime piracy was published in the Belgian official gazette on 30 January 2013. This law creates a legal framework for ships sailing under Belgian flag to protect them against the current wave of piracy in certain areas.

Before the law can effectively be applied, a number of issues will have to be dealt with by Royal Decree. This Royal Decree has not been published yet, its publication is expected next month.

EMPLOYMENT PLAN FOR OLDER EMPLOYEES

As from 1 January 2013 all companies with more than 20 employees (FTE) must have an employment plan for older employees.(1)

The employment plan must include measures to promote employment for employees aged 45 or more (e.g. recruitment and selection, development of the competencies, career development, etc.)

NEW THRESHOLDS AS FROM 1 JANUARY 2013

On 1 January 2013, the salary amounts set forth in the Law of 3 July 1978 on employment contracts are adapted in accordance with the indexation rules.

For notice periods, non-competition clauses, training clauses, arbitration clauses (art. 22bis, 65, 69, 82, 84, 85, 86/2 and 104 of the Law on employment contracts), the following amounts apply:

For probationary periods (art. 67 Law on employment contracts):

FALSE SELF-EMPLOYMENT ACT MODIFIED .....ONCE AGAIN

In its battle against social and tax fraud the legislator has modified the Act on Labour Relationships (1).

Three important modifications have been made:
 

NEW LEGISLATION ON SHAREHOLDERS'RIGHTS - EFFECTIVE AS OF 1 JANUARY 2012

Shareholders will enjoy more rights as from 1 January 2012. This results from the Shareholders' Rights Act (hereafter ‘the Act') which was ratified on 20 December 2010.

FALSE SELF-EMPLOYMENT - SOCIAL RULING MODIFIED

In our newsletter of January 2011 (1) we informed you that requesting a social ruling for existing labour relationships, was actually impossible.
 
Such a request needs to be filed within a period of 1 year as of the date on which the applicable provision will enter into force. Since the Royal Decree of 14 December 2010 provided that the provision would enter into force on 1 January 2010, this meant that the term of 1 year expired before the establishment of the Commission for the regulation of the labour relationship.
 

PATERNITY LEAVE - PROTECTION AGAINST DISMISSAL

The legislator has recently provided in a protection against dismissal for fathers using their right to paternity leave. The protection applies for the basic paternity leave as well as for the paternity leave replacing maternity leave (1). Earlier this year the legislator already expanded the right to paternity leave to co-parents (2).

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