Factsheet for case BE-2020-17/845 – measures in Belgium
|Country||Belgium , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, started on 23 April 2020|
|Type||Non-binding recommendations or other texts|
Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Occupational health and safety
|Author||Dries Van Herreweghe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Eurofound|
|Case created||13 May 2020 (updated 21 May 2020)|
In order to assist companies in the gradual reconstruction of economic activities, the social partners of the High Council for Prevention and Protection at Work, the Policy Unit of the Minister for Employment and experts from the Federal Governmental Services for Employment have worked out a generic guide in consultation, with the generic toolbox drawn up by the Economic Risk Management Group serving as a valuable source of inspiration.
The members of the Group of 10 (a bipartite body consisting of the chairmen and women of the representative employee and employers' federations) have appropriated this guide and will disseminate and recommend it to their members. They will also ask the chairperson of the National Labour Council to transmit the guide to the chairpersons of the joint committees, who can use it for restarting work in sectors and companies when this is allowed.
This guide provides a framework of measures to be tailored in turn by each different sector and by each employer to ensure that activities can be restarted in the safest and healthiest conditions possible so that a new peak of coronary events can be avoided.
At the same time, this guide also offers support to companies and/or sectors that have not had an interruption of their activities. These have of course already taken the necessary measures to ensure the continuity of their activities during the period of lockdown. They can compare the measures already taken with those in the guide, which can form be a source of inspiration in this respect.
The text is a guideline and not binding. How much it will ultimately be consulted and put into practice is therefore not measured. It is open to all sectors and companies, so the target audience is therefore very wide. The social partners have promised to promote it to their members as well as all joint committees.
One of the first sectors to implement the guide, per agreement, was the metal and technology sector. As per agreement, the guide applies to all companies within these sectors, that is to those which are part of the joint committees (JC) in the metal and technological sector, namely JC 111 (for blue collar workers) and JC 209 (for white collar workers).
In addition to the generic guide, the sectoral agreement contains a chapter on the importance of social dialogue and communication in the workplace, risk analysis, attention for the health of employees, attention for psychosocial support for employees and a procedure for preventive measures.
|Does not apply to workers||Applies to all businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Social partners jointly
No special funding required
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies||Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
The social partners within the High Council for Prevention and Protection at the workplace have cooperated with the ministry of Work and the Federal Public Services for employment.
Eurofound (2020), Social partners set out general guidelines for return to work, case BE-2020-17/845 (measures in Belgium), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch
Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.