As 2018 is gradually coming to an end, Pro-Pay wants to provide you with an overview of the Belgian public holidays for 2019 and a reminder of the rules applicable to replacement days.
Public holidays in 2019
- New Year’s Day – Tuesday, January 1st 2019
- Easter Monday – Monday, April 22nd 2019
- Labour Day – Wednesday, May 1st 2019
- Ascension Day – Thursday, May 30th 2019
- Whit Monday – Monday, June 10th 2019
- Belgian National Holiday – Sunday, July 21st 2019
- Assumption Day – Thursday, August 15th 2019
- All Saints’ Day – Friday, November 1st 2019
- Armistice Day – Monday, November 11th 2019
- Christmas – Wednesday, December 25th 2019
When a public holiday falls on a Sunday or another day which is normally a non-working day (usually a Saturday), it must be replaced by a replacement day on a normal working day. In theory, in Belgium, employees cannot be required to work on public holidays. The employer however is obliged to pay the employee a normal salary for that holiday. In the list above, the public holidays that fall on a non-working day in the course of 2019 have been marked in bold. Employees are entitled to one replacement day in 2019, for the Belgian National Holiday (Sunday, July 21st).
The law of January 4, 1974 provides for the manner in which replacement days should be determined. In theory, the Joint industrial Committee competent for each sector may decide when replacement days shall fall, but in practice we don’t see this very often. If the Joint industrial Committee has not taken its decision before October 1, 2018, each company may decide for itself when the replacement days for its employees will fall. The company may take that decision in one of the following ways:
- By the Works Council.
- If the company has no Works Council, by agreement between the union representatives and the employer.
- If the company has a Works Council nor union representatives, by agreement between all the employees and the employer.
- If no agreement can be reached for the whole company, individual agreements may be drawn up between the employer and each employee.
If replacement days cannot be decided upon using one of the solutions above, they automatically fall on the next normal working day following the public holiday (usually a Monday).
Employers must inform their employees of the replacement days for 2019 by displaying a signed and dated document on the company premises before December 15, 2018.
More interesting news can be found on Pro-Pay’s website.