Selection order for dismissals and layoffs in detail

There is no statutory selection order for dismissals under Belgian law. No specific order needs be taken into account in carrying out dismissals, unless this is determined at the level of the Joint Committee (a permanent body composed of employer’s representatives and trade unions) or at the level of the organisation.

Certain general rules must however always be taken into account when dismissing employees. In particular, care must be taken with regard to the dismissal reason when dismissing protected employees (time credit, parental leave, pregnancy, educational leave, having filed a complaint for psychosocial risks/sexual harassment/bullying/violence, etc.).

 In some specific situations, particular rules also need to be taken into account:

  • Collective dismissal: In the event of a collective dismissal under Belgian law, the dismissal criteria as determined by the company must be taken into account.
  • For employee representatives in works council and/or on the committee for prevention and protection at work and/or members of trade union delegations very specific dismissal procedures must be complied with (if not, very high indemnities of up to 8 years’ remuneration may be payable).
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Author: Claeys & Engels

Date: July 2019


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