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'Older workers' employment plan: deadline approaching

07 March 2023 Tom Dirix Employers

Since 2013, every organisation with more than 20 employees has been required to draw up an employment plan to retain or increase the number of employees aged 45 and over (NAC CAO 104). What obligations does an employment plan entail for you as an employer? And what legalities do you need to consider?

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How do you draw up an employment plan?

1. Annual plan versus multi-year plan

You either choose to prepare an annual employment plan or use a multi-year plan.

An employment plan can be fully customised for your business. CBA No 104 thus provides for the following areas of action:

  • selecting and hiring new employees;
  • developing competences and qualifications through training;
  • career-development and guidance;
  • internal changes to accommodate adapted positions;
  • adjustment of working time and working conditions;
  • employee's health, removing physical and psychosocial barriers to staying at work;
  • systems for recognising competences acquired.

Take the consultation bodies in your company into account. The implementation procedure differs depending on the consultation bodies in your company.

2. Submit the draft plan to employee representatives

The plan must be submitted to the works council for its opinion. Failing this, present it to:

  • the union delegation;
  • the Prevention and Protection Committee;
  • the employees

A two-month period then starts, during which employee representatives can give their opinions, and any additional proposals are made. If you do not follow the advice and do not modify your proposal, you must justify your decision within two months.

For companies with fewer than 50 employees and without a union delegation, the plan should be provided for information purposes only.

3. Calculate the threshold of 20 employees

The count, which determines whether or not more than 20 workers are employed in the company, is performed every four years. The number of employees, expressed in full-time equivalents, declared in the Dimona declaration is reviewed on the first working day of the calendar year in which the employment plan is prepared.

If you did not have 20 employees on 2 January 2021, you were exempt from preparing such a plan. A new count must be performed in 2025, to check whether you can again qualify for such exemption or need to start working on this.

What about that timing?

The timing is determined depending on the close of your company’s financial year. This is because the proposed plan must be delivered to the works council within three months of its conclusion. That means for companies where the financial year runs concurrently with the calendar year, 31 March is the deadline.

Our experts are ready to inform, advise and support you

Do you have a question about the 'older workers' employment plan? Contact the experts at Acerta.

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Written by Tom Dirix

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