Social & labor law

October 25, 2022


Insights on legal domains

Social law in Belgium comprises on the one hand labour law, which establishes the rules governing individual and collective labour relations, and on the other hand social security law, which covers the various social risks. Social law is governed by both public and private law.

The main objective of labour law is to provide an adequate legal framework for labour relations and related issues, such as the question of social contributions. This concerns both relations at the workplace and in the context outside the workplace, such as social networks or the way to work, for example. Employers and employees are therefore obliged to ensure that social relations within the company are harmonious.

The areas covered by employment law are very broad and may concern, for example

  • In labour law
    - Working hours
    - Paid holidays
    - Collective agreements
    - Safety at work
    - The strike
    - The unions
    - ...
  • In social security law
    - Social protection for workers
    - Health at work
    - Maternity leave
    - Social security contributions
    - Workplace accidents
    - Unemployment
    - …

Choosing to mobilize a team of lawyers is a wise choice for your company. A well-selected team of lawyers makes it possible to resolve any difficulties that may affect the sometimes asymmetrical internal relations. Indeed, the employee is in principle financially dependent on his employer who is obliged in return to respect the rights of each employee. The employer must also participate financially in the social security coverage as well as take care of the physical and mental health of his employees.

In addition, the employment contract that binds the employer to the employee must follow very precise conditions established by the labour code. The termination of an employment contract must also strictly follow a series of steps.

The most successful companies know that employees are at the heart of the company. The social climate, the relationship with the employees and their representatives (works councils or trade unions), the flexibility at work as well as the well-being of the employees are determining factors for the success of your company.

Whether it is a question of remuneration, employment contract, equal opportunities, dismissal, pension scheme or disputes arising therefrom, employment law legislation has become increasingly complex in recent years in parallel with (HR) human resources management.

In addition, your company must take into account all European directives as well as national and local legislation.

Our team of experts is skilled in covering all areas of employment law, whether it be labour law or social security law.

Our team of more than 130 specialist lawyers can help you to better understand HR regulations, their practical application and other legal challenges that your company faces every day.

Our specialized lawyers are qualified to work both in the private sector with companies such as scaleup & innovators, SMEs, freelancers or non-profit organization (NPO) and in the public sector such as legal and compliance departments.

Our main areas of activity are individual labour law and collective labour relations. We assist you in the form of information, advice, drafting of documents, negotiation or mediation in disputes as well as in court proceedings.

More specifically, in the field of labour law, we are competent in :

  • Help you to establish the contracts (permanent contract, fixed-term contract & temporary contract) and work rules that best suit your situation
  • Helping you execute or terminate an employment contract
  • Helping you draft collective labour agreements (CLAs)
  • To advise you on the different methods of remuneration, namely:
    - Alternative remuneration
    - Variable compensation
    - The bonus plan
  • To advise you on the different ways of dismissal, namely:
    - Individual dismissal
    - Collective redundancy
    - Resignation
  • You assist in the modalities of termination of the employment contract, namely:
    - Motivation
    - Break-up letter
    - Length of notice
    - Compensation in lieu of notice
    - The reintegration process
  • Prevent you from risks related to work relations, namely:
    - Psychological health and psychology of employees
    - Well-being at work
    - Moral and sexual harassment
    - Discrimination
    - Respect for the privacy of workers
  • You help draft special clauses, namely:
    - Schooling clause, i.e. the fact that the employee who receives specific training at the expense of his employer undertakes to reimburse part of it in the event of resignation
    - Confidentiality clause
    - Exclusivity clause
    - Non-competition clause
    - …
  • Determining the responsibility of managers and workers
  • Help you organize a conventional transfer of business, namely:
    - Merger
    - Split
  • You help to draft collective agreements in case of
    - Liquidation of a company
    - Judicial restructuring of a company
    - Corporate bankruptcy
  • To inform you about the bodies and procedures for social consultation in the company, namely:
    - The works council (WC)
    - The Committee for Prevention and Protection at Work (CPPW)
    - The trade union representatives (TDU)
  • Analyze and follow up on new regulations in the field of labour law by offering you a legal monitoring service

Our team also has professional experience in social security law. We can solve for you all the problems you may encounter with the social authorities such as the NSSO, the NISSE or the FPS. We can also assist you in difficulties related to the status of an employee or self-employed person.

More specifically, in the field of social security law, we are competent in :

  • Helping you comply with current social security regulations with the help of a legal audit
  • Helping you restructure social relations within your company
  • To offer you continuous training in personnel management in order to develop the human resources management within your company
  • To assist you during social audits
  • To inform and assist you on various aspects of social security, namely:
    - Pension plans
    - Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP)
    - Accidents occurring at or on the way to work
    - Unemployment benefits
    - Work incapacities
    - The annual vacation

Our lawyers specialized in labour and social security law enable us to advise and assist you in the context of disputes that may arise in the course of your employment relationship. In the event of any dispute, we can negotiate an amicable solution for your company or represent you before the competent jurisdictions (labour tribunal and labour courts).

With our legal specialization, we cooperate closely with the commercial law, corporate law, tax law and real estate law departments in order to provide assistance in personnel management and to formulate the necessary measures to prevent social risks.

If you wish to benefit from a great expertise in labour law and social security law with the help of lawyers adapted to your problems and able to offer you a tailor-made solution, do not hesitate to contact us. We can be reached by e-mail and on our website and will contact you within 24 hours.