The “index jump” of 2% becomes reality

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Date:
27 Apr 2015

The Act regarding the promotion of employment which primarily foresees a prohibition of indexation as from April 2015 was just published in the Belgian Official Gazette.

 

The Government set itself the task to close the wage gap which has grown since 1996 with Belgium's neighbours (Germany, France and the Netherlands).

One of the measures which was announced to that end was to foresee an index jump of 2%.

The Act provides that, as from April 2015, the smoothed health index (equal to the average of the health indexes of the last four months) is blocked at its level of March 2015 in such a way that the reference index (namely the mathematical average of the health indexes of the last four months multiplied by 0,98) does not exceed it. As soon as the reference index surpasses the smoothed health index of March 2015, the indexation stop will end. As from that moment, the smoothed health index will correspond to the average of the health indexes of the last four months, multiplied by 0,98. Hence the jump of 2% will be permanent and the non-indexation will not be compensated in the future. On the other hand, during the index jump, no negative indexation can be applied.

The Act foresees that the smoothed health index applies to all legal, regulatory and conventional (individual or collective) stipulations which link remuneration (no matter what type) to a price index, in such a way that the index jump cannot be overridden. A failure to respect the index jump will be criminally sanctioned.

Finally, the Act foresees other stipulations, including for instance the application of the principles of salary moderation in public economic companies. In this regard we would like to recall that the wage norm will in principle be fixed at 0% for 2015 and at 0,5% (an increase of the net salary by 0.3 %) for 2016. This still has to be confirmed into binding legislation.

 

> Action point

Respect the index jump as from April 2015!