by Katarzyna Krzysiek
A replacement holiday is required for any public holiday that falls on a Sunday or what is normally a non-working day for your business (generally Saturday). This ensures that your employees still receive the ten annual public holidays to which they are entitled. A replacement day has the same properties as the original holiday. In other words, the entitlement to paid time off and to receive holiday pay transfer to the replacement day. We will provide more information as well as an overview for the coming year.
Belgium’s ten official public holidays and the days on which these will fall in 2023:
Day of the week
New Year's Day
1 January 2023
10 April 2023
1 May 2023
18 May 2023
29 May 2023
Belgian National Holiday
21 July 2023
15 August 2023
All Saints' Day
1 November 2023
11 November 2023
25 December 2023
In 2023, New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday and Armistice Day is on a Saturday. If Saturday and/or Sunday are not normal working days for your business, you must provide replacement days for these holidays.
Determination of replacement holidays follows a process known as the cascade system. The joint committee has the first right to decide. They must submit their decision to the Minister of Employment before 1 October. Did they fail to do so? In that case, their decision will not be binding!
In the second instance, the works council may decide. In the absence of a works council or if they do not make a decision, the employer may come to an agreement with the trade union delegation. If there is no delegation, the next step is a collective agreement with their employees. Is there no collective agreement? In that case, replacement holidays are determined through individual agreement between the employer and the employee.
Employers must display the decision or agreement in a prominent place where all employees can see it. They must also append a copy of this notification to their employee handbook. Furthermore, they must submit a second copy to the Social Legislation Inspectorate within eight days of the decision being made. If an employer was not able to determine a replacement day, the public holiday moves to the next normal working day following the original holiday for their business.
Employers, take note! Employers must have notified their employees of the agreed replacement holidays for 2023 before Thursday 15 December 2022.
Do you have any questions or is anything still unclear? Please do not hesitate to contact us!
In our opinions, we rely on current legislation, interpretations and legal doctrine. This does not prevent the administration from disputing them or from changing existing interpretations.
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