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> GOVERNANCE - home > Employment protection legislation database - EPLex > Belgium

Belgium - Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints


Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - Belgium - 2019    

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Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: No

Compensation for unfair dismissal - Are there legal limits?: Yes

Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method):
In case of "manifestly unreasonable" termination of employment, the employer shall grant a compensation to the worker of minimum 3 weeks and maximum 17 weeks of remuneration (Art. 9 of the national 2014 Collective labour agreement No. 109).

In addition, the worker might request another specific compensation in case the employer does not motivate the reasons for the dismissal.

Remarks:
  • ECA Art. 39.§ 1er: Si le contrat a été conclu pour une durée indéterminée, la partie qui résilie le contrat sans motif grave ou sans respecter le délai de préavis fixé au articles [1 37/2, 37/5, 37/6 et 37/11]1, est tenue de payer à l'autre partie une indemnité égale à la rémunération en cours correspondant soit à la durée du délai de préavis, soit à la partie de ce délai restant à courir. L'indemnité est toutefois toujours égale au montant de la rémunération en cours correspondant à la durée du délai de préavis, lorsque le congé est donné par l'employeur et en méconnaissance des dispositions [2 ...]2 de l'article 40 de la loi sur le travail du 16 mars 1971.
    L'indemnité de congé comprend non seulement la rémunération en cours, mais aussi les avantages acquis en vertu du contrat. (...)

Reinstatement available: No

Remarks:
  • Except for workers’ representatives on works councils and health, safety and working conditions committees.

Preliminary mandatory conciliation: No

Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): labour court

Remarks:
  • Art. 578 of the Judiciary Code

Existing arbitration: No

Burden of proof: worker

Remarks:
  • In principle the worker has the burden of proof on the basis of the rule that who claims something has to prove it.
    However, in certain circumstances, the burden of proof is somehow reversed:
    - If the employer has not correctly informed the dismissed worker about the concrete reasons that led to his/her dismissal (art. 5 en 6 Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) No. 109), the employer has to prove the worker was dismissed for fair reasons;
    - If the worker enjoys special protection against dismissal, the employer will have to prove that the reasons for the dismissal are strange to the reason for the special protection.