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Adaptation of notice periods for employees

Posted October 28th, 2011 in Belgian Law, News by Louise

The Claeys formula, named after the Belgian employment lawyer who devised it, is often used in Belgium to determine the length of notice for employees earning a salary above €30,535 gross (amount in 2011) per year. It has recently been adapted and we outline the main changes below.

As you may know, the length of the notice period for employees in Belgium varies according to seniority and salary. If you earn less than €30,535 gross per year then your notice period is three months for every five years of employment.

If you earn more than that then the notice period is fixed by agreement (although it cannot be less than what it would be if you were earning below the threshold). In the event that an agreement cannot be found then it is up to the employer to fix an ‘appropriate’ period. The Claeys formula which is widely followed by employers and employment tribunals sets out a formula for determining what may be deemed to be ‘appropriate’. This formula has recently been adjusted on the basis of decisions by the courts in 2010 as follows:

For employees earning a gross annual compensation of less than €120,000

(0.87 x (years service) + 0.055 x (age) + 0.038 x (gross annual remuneration 117.20) – 1.95) divided by the official index of the month in which notice was given (baseline 2004)

For employees earning a gross annual compensation equal to or more than € 120,000

(0.87 x (age) + 0.055 x (age) – 0.0029 x (gross annual remuneration x 117.20) + 2.96) divided by the official index of the month in which notice was given (baseline 2004).

We hope that’s clear then but if you still have questions, contact us.

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