08 March 2024

Do not forget your training plan: deadline 31 March

by Karen Thys

The Labour Deal (law of 3/10/2022 containing various provisions) stipulates that all full-time employees have an individual right to training.

  • In companies with at least 20 employees (expressed in full-time equivalents): 5 days of individual training per year from 2024;

  • In enterprises with at least 10 and less than 20 employees, an average of 1 day of training per FTE per year from 2024;

  • In enterprises with less than 10 employees: no individual training entitlement;

  • Training days to be calculated pro rata for part-time employees and employees who have not been employed for a full year.

Note: Sectoral rules may differ depending on collective agreements.

In order to implement this individual right to training, employers with 20 or more employees must draw up a training plan. For the time being, employers with fewer than 20 employees are exempt from this obligation.

This plan must include the formal and informal training offered and the target group of employees. It does not have to include specific dates and times. The employer is free to choose the form of the plan. There is no prescribed model. You are free to use this blank model.

The law stipulates that the plan must have a minimum duration of 1 year, with no maximum duration specified. A plan can therefore be drawn up for a longer period than 1 year, but its content must be reassessed annually.

What is the purpose of such a plan?

The purpose of the training plan is to enable the employer to think in advance about the training courses that can be offered according to the needs of the employees, with the aim of achieving the ultimate goal (= providing adequate training to every employee).

Every employer required to establish a training plan will therefore no longer be able to plan purely ad hoc, but will have to carry out a prior exercise of reflection, the concrete outlines of which are provided in the training plan. Special attention should be paid to people belonging to high-risk groups and employees aged 50 and over.

Which companies need to establish a training plan?

A training plan is mandatory if you employ at least 20 employees. To determine whether you reach this number, you must consider the number of full-time equivalents based on the average employment during the reference period from October 1, 2022, to September 30, 2023. This number is calculated at the level of the legal entity, and you only need to consider employees subject to the social security regulations. This means that students for whom only solidarity contributions are paid and flexi workers are excluded.

What is the procedure for establishing a training plan?

The employer must draw up the plan annually before March 31. They must first engage in social dialogue within the company. Therefore, they submit a draft training plan to the works council, or if there is none, to the trade union delegation, at least 15 days before the meeting at which the draft will be studied. The works council or the trade union delegation provides advice on the draft by no later than March 15. If there is no works council or trade union delegation, then the employer presents the plan to the employees by no later than March 15.

The employer must simply keep the plan in the company. Employees must be granted access to the training plan upon simple request.

Are there any sanctions?

Currently, there are no specific sanctions for employers who fail to establish a training plan. It is assumed that internal social dialogue will exert sufficient pressure on the employer.

Federal Learning Account

To assist employees in managing their individual training right, the federal government has developed the Federal Learning Account (FLA). The FLA is a digital application that will provide employees with an overview of their individual training right. This application, along with the accompanying new obligation for employers to register employee training, should normally be available from April 1, 2024, with a transition period of 6 months for employers to get everything in order for existing employees. We have since learned that this may not be available until June 1, 2024. More information on this will be forthcoming soon!

More Information

  • Training Plan (with FAQ)

  • Individual Training Right (with FAQ)

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