Unified statute for white and blue-collar workers

Written by Philippe Vanclooster 8 February 2013


As you (probably) know, in 2011 the Belgian Constitutional Court ruled that the different treatment between blue and white-collar workers is discriminatory as there is no justification to do so. Although the Court’s decision concerned two specific features (notice period and sick days), it is generally expected that also other distinctions between blue and white-collar workers (e.g. annual holiday, guaranteed pay, pension schemes, etc.) will be considered discriminatory.

Unjustified differences should be eliminated before 8 July 2013

The Court also ruled that unjustified differences should be eliminated before 8 July 2013 at the latest, even though no legal texts are yet adopted at this stage. Needless to say this judgement probably also impacts your organisation in Belgium. It is therefore advisable to already list the differences in treatment and benefits between white and blue-collar workers that result from a decision taken by the company. This list might then serve as a basis for harmonisation, especially as regards pay scales and job classification.

We can quickly identify differences with our quick scan

In this respect, PwC offers you a quick scan of the pay structures, collective bargaining agreements, HR regulations, policies etc. within your organisation. Potential issues linked to the differences in remuneration and benefits between blue and white-collar staff can then easily be identified. This quick scan includes an analysis of your situation based on a standard questionnaire covering the various salary benefits you grant and the job qualification in place, a brief report on the differences identified and a follow-up meeting. During that meeting, we will set out the conclusions and discuss possible changes and/or an action plan you can implement.