In cases where multiple redundancies are considered collective redundancies, legislation on collective redundancies and business closures applies (if necessary). A collective dismissal or the closure of a company raises several specific obligations for employers, including the requirement: the state can play an important role in collective bargaining. A 1996 law allows it to link wage increases to planned wage developments in neighbouring Belgium, Germany, France and the Netherlands, in order to preserve the country`s competitiveness. Negotiations at the national level are taking place within the framework of an official technical report setting out this forecast and the government has the power to intervene if both sides fail to agree on a figure within that limit. (viii) individual oral employment contracts; the agreements are binding on all employers who are part of the employers` organisations that sign these agreements and are almost always extended to all employers in the sector concerned by a royal decree. In this case, agreements reached in these joint committees and subcommittees are mandatory for all employers (and therefore their employees) in the branches they cover. In the first quarter of 2019, the federal minimum wage was 1,593.81 euros gross per month. However, joint commissions often set higher minimum wages in sectoral collective agreements. Where appropriate, employers should strive to establish a constructive relationship with the workers` representatives of the relevant trade union delegation, as collective disputes can seriously affect a company. Apart from the dismissal of staff representatives or in the case of collective dismissal or closure, an employment contract may be terminated unilaterally by either party, without taking into account a specific procedure involving the consultation or decision of a third party and without prior authorization from social mediation, arbitration or a legal body.
1.6 To what extent are the terms of employment agreed in collective bargaining? Do negotiations usually take place at the company or sector level? Unlike most other European countries, wages are indexed in Belgium; it increases with price. However, indexing mechanisms differ from industry to industry, in accordance with the corresponding collective agreement. In 1993, the government intervened to remove from the index a number of goods – tobacco, alcohol, gasoline, diesel and the impact of taxes on energy products. As a result, there is a gap between the index used for wage increases and the actual increase in the cost of living. Are binding arbitration and dispute resolution agreements applicable? At the enterprise level, trade union delegations negotiate with local trade union organisations with individual employers. However, agreements are only valid if they are signed by a union official from outside the workplace. The number of enterprise agreements has increased in recent years and currently about one-third of firms have their own agreements, although they can deal with issues other than wages.  It is also important to note that the relative importance of negotiations between industry and business in the private sector varies. In some sectors, such as construction, transport and hospitality, the level of the sector is essential and collective bargaining at the enterprise level takes place in only a small number of very large companies. In other areas, such as metallurgy, sector-level negotiations provide a framework for enterprise bargaining.  Trade unions may form “union delegations” in companies according to a specific procedure.