Saturday no longer a normal working day? Not under all circumstances
A previous article discussed the Belgian Law of 28 April 2022 introducing Book 1 “General Provisions” of the Civil Code. These provisions stipulate that working days are all days other than public holidays, Sundays and Saturdays (Article 1.7). However, this law does not apply under all circumstances. We will explain.
As labour law considers Saturday a normal working day, this new law also affects aspects of social law. The Nationale Arbeidsraad (National Labour Council) issued an opinion stating that legal certainty required Saturday to be maintained as a working day.
The authorities decided to intervene and on 30 December 2022, the Act of 26 December 2022 was introduced, comprising the neutralisation of Article 1.7 of Book 1 of the Civil Code with regard to labour law, social security and social assistance. Thus, Article 1.7’s new definition of working days does not apply to any provisions concerned with rules on employment relations, social security or social assistance. In these specific contexts, Saturday is and remains a normal working day.
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We base our advice on current legislation, interpretations and legal doctrine. This does not prevent the administration from being able to challenge it or to change existing interpretations.