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What's moving on the HR front in May?

Not only is May the last month before the elections on 9 June 2024, but a lot is also happening on the socio-legal front. For instance, numerous public holidays fall, holiday pay is paid in many companies and social elections take place.

29 April 2024

Disclaimer. The English translations provided herein are generated by artificial intelligence from Dutch and French content. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, we cannot guarantee that the translations will be error-free. The translated content is for readability purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. For accurate information, employers and HR professionals are advised to consult the original versions in Dutch or French, or to consult your Securex Legal Advisor.

A month with three public holidays

In the month of May, there are no less than three public holidays:

  • Wednesday, May 1 (Labour Day)
  • Thursday May 9 (Ascension Day)
  • Monday May 20 (Whit Monday)

Full-time employees are entitled to ten statutory public holidays per year. On those days, they are in principle not allowed to work. Keep in mind that those public holidays are mandatory and are subject to inspection by the social inspectorate.

Learn more about the rules, exceptions and the public holiday pay (content available in Dutch or French)

On Friday 10 May, it is a bank holiday. That means banks are closed and you cannot do any banking transactions on that day. Also electronic payments of wages will not be possible then. Please take this into account when forwarding your performance.

Right to minor leave

As the period of communion, spring, growth and wedding celebrations approaches again, it is advisable to check how the small leave entitlement is regulated in your sector. The small leave entitles your employee to be absent from work on certain events with pay.

You can find this information under Joint Committees > Your PC > Suspension of employment contract > Minor leave. As an example, in Joint Committee No 200, an employee who gets married is entitled to three days' petty leave, instead of the two days provided for by law.

Social elections from May 13 to 26

Companies with 50 or more employees must organise social elections every four years. During these elections, employees elect their representatives to the works council (OR) and/or the Committee for Prevention and Protection at Work (CPBW). The 2024 social elections will take place from 13 to 26 May 2024. The 2024 social elections will take place from 13 to 26 May 2024.

Read more: ‘Social elections will take place between 13 and 26 May 2024' (content available in Dutch or French)

Holiday pay is calculated

With the summer holidays approaching, the calculation of holiday pay also begins. At Securex, we take care of that calculation for your employees. We perform the calculations in the same month as last year.

Was a specific date agreed with you, as an existing or new client with our Securex Social Secretariat? Then we will stick to this time.

Learn more in our file on holiday pay (available in Dutch or French)

Employing foreign workers in Flanders becomes easier

From 1 May 2024, it will be quicker to employ non-EEA workers more flexibly in Flanders. Indeed, the rules for some single permit applications will be relaxed. This will allow employers seeking workers in bottleneck occupations to hire foreign workers more quickly.

Read more: ‘From 1 May, you can employ foreign workers more flexibly in Flanders' (content available in Dutch or French)

The pivot index was exceeded

The overshoot of the pivot index in April means that social benefits (such as unemployment benefits) will be increased by 2 per cent in May 2024. Government salaries will also undergo the same 2 per cent increase in June 2024.

Workers in the non-profit sector and the hospitality sector can expect a similar 2 per cent pay rise.

Read more: ‘When will the pivot index be exceeded in 2024?' (content available in Dutch or French)


High inflation
Social elections