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Client Memorandum: New notice periods as from 2012

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Most companies have a considerable number of employees with reduced working hours. Apart from employees who are working part time or those who are resuming work on a part time basis after a period of incapacity for work, more and more employees are reducing their working hours for a limited period of time in the frame of time credit or thematic leave. [1] As opposed to the popularity of these measures, great uncertainty persists about the question as to which remuneration should be taken into account for the calculation of the indemnity in lieu of notice when an employer terminates the employment agreement of an employee with reduced work hours with immediate effect. [2] Should this be the effective part time remuneration at the moment of dismissal or the hypothetical full time remuneration of the period preceding the reduction of working hours, which the employee would possibly be entitled to after the period of reduction? In the present Client memo, we will present you the current situation.

[1] The systems of time credit allowing this reduction are the right to time credit in a narrow sense (and notably the reduction to a part-time job), the right to a career reduction by one fifth and the right for employees over 50 to a reduction in working hours with 50 or 20%, as defined by CBA77bis. Thematic leaves are understood to include parental leave, palliative care leave and leave with a view to assistance to a seriously ill family member or relative.

[2] It should be noted that a certain protection against dismissal applies to several cases of (part time) reduction of working hours. An employer terminating the employment agreement of an employee with reduced working hours, should be aware hereof.

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