At company level, trade union delegations negotiate with local trade union organisations with individual employers. However, agreements are only valid if they are signed by a union official from outside the workplace. The number of company contracts has increased in recent years, and at present about a third of companies have their own agreements, although they can deal with non-wage issues. [4] It is also important to note that the relative importance of sectoral negotiations and companies in the private sector is different. In some sectors such as construction, transport and hospitality, the sector is decisive and negotiations at company level take place in only a small number of very large companies. In other areas, such as metallurgy, negotiations at sectoral level provide a framework for company negotiations. [5] In principle, workers are also entitled to overtime pay for work that exceeds the limits of nine hours per day and 40 hours per week (or lower limits set by a collective agreement that implies an effective reduction in daily or weekly working time). In recent years, since the economic crisis, the space for negotiations on wages has been very limited at national level and it has been difficult to reach an agreement with the three confederations on what is known as an inter-professional agreement (AIP/IAP). Negotiations at this level take place every two years and the biennial agreement for 2017-18, signed in January 2017, which provides for a wage cost of 1.1% in addition to the automatic indexation of wages associated with prices (see below), is the only one to have been agreed since the agreement for 2009-10. In principle, there is no participation in Belgian labour law, with the exception of very specific cases such as the implementation of the labour regulations or the setting of selection criteria in the context of a collective redundancy procedure.

However, many information and consultation competences remain. For example, as explained below, the works council has the right to obtain different categories of information: basic information; annual information; periodic information; quarterly information; and occasional information. Labour courts have jurisdiction over all labour disputes (e.g. Β termination of employment contracts, wages, equal treatment and unfair competition). In principle, they have no jurisdiction over collective disputes in matters of labour law. However, they may impose a penalty for collective disputes and rights disputes. The planned “collective redundancies”, which would affect a period of 60 days, are (and must) govern (and must) apply to specific procedural and substantive rules: binding labour law provisions generally replace the employment contract in such a way as not to be mentioned in the agreement. Where multiple redundancies are considered to be collective redundancies, the legislation on collective redundancies and the closure of undertakings applies (if necessary). In any case, the lower level can only agree on improvements compared to what was negotiated at the above-mentioned level and the agreements are binding. Unlike most other European countries, wages are indexed in Belgium; It is rising.

However, indexation mechanisms vary from one sector to another, in accordance with the corresponding collective agreement. In 1993, the government intervened to remove from the index a number of items – tobacco, alcohol, gasoline, diesel and the impact of taxes on energy products. As a result, there is a gap between the index used to raise wages and the actual rise in the cost of living. Can binding arbitration/dispute settlement agreements be implemented? There are three categories of collective agreements: collective bargaining between the social partners (trade unions and employers` organisations) plays a key role in shaping the rules of Belgian labour law. Collective agreements are concluded at national or sectoral level by representatives of both organisations or, at company level, between representatives of employers and trade unions. .

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