- 10 Jan 2020
Access to different systems based on age for sectors not covered by a joint committee
In 2019, the National Labour Council (NLC) published a large number of collective labour agreements which enabled the specific UCA (unemployment with company allowance) systems, including the system for long occupational history, to become operational (again). However, some systems still required an initiative at sector level to lower the age for admission. There was also a need for an initiative at sector level so that the age limits for an “end-of-career job” with a long occupational history and heavy occupation with benefits as determined in Collective Labour Agreement No 137 could be applied. Certain industries are not in a position to take the required initiative at sector level. Now, the NLC provides them with supplementary systems.
The NLC now offers the possibility, through three collective agreements, to join the abovementioned “different” systems based on age for the sectors that cannot take the necessary initiatives themselves at sectoral level as their sector does not come under an established joint committee.
Access to UCA “long occupational history”
For this system, the NLC provided for the age for admission to be raised to 60 years as from 1 July 2021. The applicable collective labour agreements therefore stipulate the following age conditions:
- 59 years for the period from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2021;
- 60 years from 1 July 2021.
However, as far as the reduction of this age for admission is concerned, a sectoral initiative is still needed. For the sectors that cannot take such an initiative because their industry does not come under an established joint committee, collective agreements No 144 and No 145 now provide for access to the derogative system on the basis of age for long occupational history.
The implementation of the supplementary systems provided for in the collective agreements of the NLC should be done by means of accession. This accession can take the form of a collective agreement at company level, an act of accession in accordance with the model and procedure as described in the applicable collective agreement or an amendment to the work rules.
Access to entitlement to benefits in the context of “end-of-career jobs”
Collective Labour Agreement No 137 provides for the following age limits (provided that all other conditions are met) for the period 2019–2020:
- 57 years for employees who reduce their work performance to a half-time job;
- 55 years for employees who reduce their work performance by one fifth.
This collective agreement requires an initiative to be taken at sector level so that these age limits can be invoked. Consequently, a collective agreement was concluded by the NLC in order to allow the sectors that cannot take such an initiative because their industry does not come under an established joint committee to implement these age limits.
The supplementary system should be implemented by means of an accession, i.e., in the form of a collective agreement at company level, an act of accession in accordance with the model and procedure as described in the applicable collective agreement or an amendment to the work rules.
Industries which are not in a position to take the required initiative at sector level can make use of the supplementary systems provided for by the NLC. However, accession must, where appropriate, take place in accordance with the provisions of the applicable collective agreement.