THE LAW THAT CHANGES
Since the end of September 2022, measures implementing the 'jobs deal' have been taken and are expected to come into force on 1 January 2022.er January 2023. This is the case of the four-day week. Thus, private sector workers will have the possibility of working four days a week at a rate of 9.5 hours a day (in order to comply with the 38-hour week), for a maximum period of 6 months, renewable. They will thus benefit from an additional day of rest. The system must be provided for in the work regulations or in a company's collective labour agreement (if 10 hours a day to comply with 40 hours a week) and an agreement must be concluded between the worker and the employer. The worker must make a written request to the employer, who may refuse with justification.
SOCIAL JURISPRUDENCE READ FOR YOU
In order to invoke a breach of contract on the grounds of force majeure due to an incapacity to work which definitively prevents the worker from carrying out the agreed work, all the stages of the procedure for the reintegration of the worker provided for in Article I.4-74 of the Code of Welfare at Work must be respected. This was recalled by the Labour Court of Liège, Namur division, in a judgment of 11 January 2022 (R.G. n° 16/7.214/A).
Thus, the employer must draw up a reintegration plan in consultation with the worker, the prevention consultant/occupational physician and, where appropriate, other persons who can contribute to the success of the reintegration. If, after this consultation, the employer does not draw up a plan because he considers it technically or objectively impossible or cannot be required for duly justified reasons, he must draw up a report justifying his position, which must be given to the worker and to the prevention consultant/occupational physician within a certain time limit.
For the Court, since the consultation phase was not conducted with the employee but only with the prevention consultant, the procedure had not been respected. The employer cannot invoke the nullity of the finding of force majeure to regularise the situation by a new consultation procedure. As soon as he has given the employee his C4 and closed the Dimona, he has expressed his wish to terminate the contract and must therefore pay the compensation in lieu of notice.
For more information, please contact Olivier Langlet (email@example.com) and Sophie Poncin (firstname.lastname@example.org), lawyers, CEW & Partners.