Full-time for 4 days, e-commerce… The details of the labor market reform agreement

An agreement on labor market reform was reached overnight. Full-time can be worked in four days. Night work in e-commerce is becoming easier and workers on platforms like Deliveroo and Uber are better protected.

White smoke for more flexibility! Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Labor Pierre-Yves Dermagne (PS) tweeted last night: the select ministerial committee has reached an agreement on the reform of the labor market.

Here’s what we know about the concrete right to training, the protection of platform workers, the reconciliation of work and private life and certain measures to promote employment.


to dawn

In concrete terms, a full-time job can now be spread over four days.

Organize your week differently

The agreement reached includes measures to ensure that Belgium reaches an employment rate of 80% by 2030, compared to 71%, with strong regional differences.

Employees will be able to work more one week and less the next.

A series of measures should give employees more flexibility. Example? Full-time work in four days: employees who wish to do so will be able to work more hours per day, in order to have an extra day off during the week. This request must be extended for a period of 6 months.

Employees will also be able to work more one week and slightly less the next, which can be interesting for parents in shared custody.

The four-day working week seems to be a good solution for about one in three Belgian SMEs (31.4%), SD Worx has already responded. †SMEs in the service sector slightly more favourable to the four-day working week (32.5% compared to 26.9% for Industry and Construction),” said Vassilios Skarlidis, regional director for SMEs at SD Worx.


Training and guidance during dismissal are also part of the package. Dismissed employees can start working for another employer during their notice period

The right to training is extended. An individual right should enable all workers to: enjoy training days paid by the employer throughout your career† Specific, each employee now has an individual right to three days of training in 2022, increased to 4 in 2023 and then to 5 days in 2024† Companies will be required to submit a training plan every year, except those with fewer than 20 employees.

In addition, consultations on the right to log out should be organized in large companies. But the government is announcing that the right to shut down that applied in the federal public service will therefore also be implemented in the private sector. Pressure is no longer tolerated to read and reply to messages outside working hours.

And ecommerce?

Evening work is facilitated in the e-commerce sector: this is possible if union agreement† In addition, companies in this sector can start with pilot projects to develop their activities† What will it be used for? “The intention is to use these pilot projects to test new work organizations and new schedules† Subsequently, these projects will be evaluated with the social partners”, said Dominique Michel, CEO of Comeos. “This is an important first step to enable companies to adapt faster.”

Evening work (sorting, transporting packages) between 8 p.m. and midnight is the subject of such a pilot project, in a year and a half, with evening bonuses, on a voluntary basis.

Workers on platforms like Uber or Deliveroo benefit from better protection against the risk of work accidents.

The two statuses, self-employed and employed, will co-exist for these platforms and the criteria will be clarified to avoid bogus self-employed. Belgium wants to implement the proposal for a European directive on this matter, published on 9 December. This includes five criteria. If two of them are met, the employee should be considered an employee. The government decided to add three additional criteria. In this scenario, the presumption of employment is granted if three of the eight criteria are met. This presumption of employment or otherwise remains rebuttable.

“If someone wants to work as a freelancer, they can and will have more autonomy,” says Frank Vandenbroucke. For example, the platform can no longer claim exclusivity from, for example, an independent.

Supervision of trade in scarcity will be strengthenedlike ‘s question the diversity across sectors and companies. The government wants diversity monitoring to be instituted by the FPS Employment, similar to what is done for shortage occupations. “In the event of any difficulties identified, the sheets will be sent to the competent joint committees to draw up an action plan,” said David Clarinval, Minister for SMEs.

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