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Coronavirus - How to Recuperate 8 Days Paid Leave Employees

Addition 15.4.2020 in orange.

The paid leave that employees working in non-essential activities have ‘enjoyed’ during the tightened lockdown period, needs to be recuperated and the way how needs to be negotiated with the employer.

The employees need to be represented by their legal representatives. In case there are no legal representatives yet, it can be a committee formed by the unions, one representative from each union relevant for the convenio in place and with accredited authority to negotiate. Alternatively, the employees can elect their own representative committee, they have to choose three from amongst them, in a period of max. 5 days. Then, in a period of max. 7 days (consultation period), they need to come to an agreement.

The parties may agree at any time to replace the consultation period with mediation or arbitration procedures provided for in nationally valid or regionally valid interprofessional agreements referred to in article 83 of the Workers’ Statute.

Note: even if agreed in the negotiations, certain rights as established in the Workers’ Statute, cannot be touched. In no case can the hours be recovered by agreeing to less holidays, or less daily or weekly rest time.

Note 2. You can only be asked to work up to the maximum annual amount of hours mentioned in your contract or the convenio in place for your line of work. Any hours exceeding that are considered ‘extra’ hours and these are only obligatory if the convenio or your contract so indicate. The hours from the obligatory paid leave are not considered as such. Relevant info re maximum annual work hours in a leap year.

Neither can those who make use of an adapted work schedule to take care of a family member, be asked to change that. And in any case, the negotiated way to recover the hours must be communicated with at least 5 days notice before taking effect.

If parties cannot come to an agreement, the employer will notify employees of their decision on how to recuperate the 8 days within 7 days after the consultation period has ended. They cannot decide to take the paid leave from your wages. Your work contract guarantees a certain amount of hours work and it doesn’t matter whether you have been offered work for all those hours or not. Your work contract guarantees payment of the hours you are contracted for.

The window to recover the paid leave, once the negotiations have ended, will last until the 31st of December 2020.



Please note: The information provided is based upon our understanding of current legislation. It is not legal advice but is provided freely to enable you to be properly informed. We recommend that if you are considering taking action, you should seek professional advice.

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