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Belgium - Minimum Wages - 2009


LAST UPDATE

22 December 2009

SOURCES


Name of Act

Collective Agreements and Joint Committees Act 1968, as amended to Law of 24 July 2008, Moniteur Belge of 7 August 2008
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Name of Act

Act Establishing the National Labour Council of 29 May 1952, as amended to 23 December 1994

Name of Act

Labour Inspection Act, dated 16 November 1972, as amended to 14 May 2003

Name of Act

Act Concerning Employment Promotion and Competition, dated 1 August 1996, as amended to 28 December 2006

Name of Act

Collective Agreement No. 43 of 2 May 1988 Concerning the Amendment and Consolidation of Collective Agreements No. 21 of 15 May 1975 and No. 23 of 25 July 1975 On the Guaranteed Minimum Wages, as modified up to Collective Agreement 43 undecies of 10 October 2008
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Name of Act

Collective Agreement on the Guaranteed Minimum Wage for Workers Younger Than 21 Years, Agreement No. 50 of 29 November 1991

Name of Act

Collective Agreement Concerning Part-Time Work, Collective Agreement No. 35 of 27 February 1981, as amended up to Collective Agreement No. 35bis of 9 February 2000

Other source used

Homepage of the National Labour Council

MINIMUM WAGE FIXING


Procedure


Procedure in general

The minimum wage in Belgium is not fixed by the law. It is fixed on the national level by collective agreements concluded by the National Labour Council. Joint committees of the National Labour Council set different minimum wage levels for different sectors.
Collective Agreements and Joint Committees Act 1968 §§ 6, 7

Minimum wage set through decentralized collective bargaining

Collective agreements can either be concluded by the national labour council or by its joint labour committees.

1. The national minimum wage rate RMMG (revenue minimum mensuel garanti), which applies to all workers in the private sector is set in collective agreements negotiated within the National Labour Council. The RMMG represents the minimum wage that an employer in the private sector must provide an employee in an average month.

2. Joint negotiating committees can establish sectoral minimum wages in collective agreements that apply to workers in certain sectors. Sectoral minimum wages may not be lower than the RMMG. Collective agreements entered into within joint committees apply to organizations that are members of the joint committee that negotiated the collective agreement and any party defined in the scope of application of the collective agreement.

The RMMG is a guarantee of monthly wage and may consist of special payments and in-kind allowances that make up a worker’s normal remuneration. Certain types of payment are not included within the scope of RMMG such as overtime pay and subsidized meals.
Collective Agreements and Joint Committees Act 1968 §§ 6, 7, 26, 28

Criteria


Cost of living

Yes, both the RMMG and sectoral minimum wage rates are indexed to CPI.
Collective Agreement No. 43 §§ 3, 4

Coverage


Scope

The RMMG applies to all workers in the private sector. Collective agreements only apply to workers in the private sector.
Collective Agreements and Joint Committees Act 1968 § 2

Excluded categories


» Workers

Casual workers, who normally work for periods of less than one month and workers in certain family businesses who are managed by their parents, are not covered by the RMMG.
Collective Agreement No. 43 § 2

Specific minimum wage rates


» Specific minimum wage by sector

Collective agreements establish minimum wage rates that are at least equal to the RMMG for sectors such as: agriculture; textile; commerce; construction; and many others (see list of current collective agreements of the National Labour Council).
Homepage of the National Labour Council http://www.cnt-nar.be/F1I.htm

» Minimum wage levels for specific categories of workers


» Youth

The agreement covers young workers below the age of 21 years who are not covered by a sectoral collective agreement. The rates are the following percentage of the RMMG:
Up to 20 years of age 94%
Up to 19 years of age 88%
Up to 18 years of age 82%
Up to 17 years of age 76%
16 years of age and under 70%.
Collective Agreement No. 50 On the Guaranteed Minimum Wage for Workers Younger than 21 Years § 3

» Other categories

Full-time domestic workers (those working at least 40 hours per week), must receive at least the RMMG.
Part-time workers are entitled to an RMMG calculated on a pro rata basis in accordance with the number of hours worked that is proportionate to the amount a full-time worker would receive as determined by national or sectoral collective agreement.
Collective Agreement No. 43 § 1
Collective Agreement Concerning Part-Time Work § 10

Level


Minimum wage level(s) in national currency

RMMG
Workers who have attained the age of 21 years EUR 1,387,49 per month
Workers who have attained the age of 21 and a half years and who have worked in the same company for at least 6 months EUR 1,424,31 per month.
Collective Agreement No. 43 § 3

Last minimum wage update

RMMG
1 October 2008
Collective Agreement No. 43 § 11

In-kind allowances

Yes. The RMMG is a guarantee of monthly revenue and may consist of both monetary payments and in-kind payments that make up a worker’s normal remuneration. Certain types of payment are not included within the scope of RMMG such as overtime pay and subsidized meals.
Collective Agreement No. 43 § 5

Rate of payment


» Monthly

The RMMG is a monthly guaranteed minimum rate.
Part-time workers are entitled to an RMMG calculated on a pro-rata basis in accordance with the number of hours worked.
Collective Agreement No. 43 §§ 3, 6
Collective Agreement Concerning Part-Time Work § 10

Scheduled frequency of adjustment

Adjustment takes place automatically as rates are indexed to the cost of living. In addition, every 2 years a national intersectoral agreement is entered into by the social partners. This agreement sets the maximum margin within which labour costs can increase.
Collective Agreements and Joint Committees Act 1968 § 4
Act Concerning Employment Promotion and Competition § 6

Enforcement mechanisms


Labour inspection

Enforcement of collective agreements is assured by labour inspectors, who may enter workplaces and inspect the records and documents necessary to ensure compliance.
Labour Inspection Act § 4

Fines in national currency for non-respect of legislation

Failure to pay a minimum wage rate as set in a mandatory collective agreement entered into within a National Labour Council or joint committee results in an employer or their agent being liable to a penalty of either imprisonment for between 8 days and 1 month, or a fine, or both.
Collective Agreements and Joint Committees Act 1968 § 56

Results generated on: 29th August 2014 at 18:04:15.
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