Association Internationale des Conseils économiques et sociaux et institutions similaires
  • Belgique - Conseil national du Travail

Belgique - Conseil national du Travail

17 Avenue de la Joyeuse Entrée, Bruxelles 1000, Bruxelles, Belgium

Détails du site

Institutional characteristics

1. Establishment

- Date of creation: 1952

- Year operational: 1953 (Règlement d'ordre intérieur du conseil national du travail Approuvé par l'arrêté royal du 21 avril 1953)

- Nature of the texts that create the institution (Constitution, law, decree, etc.): 

The National Labour Council (NLC) was established by a law of 29 May 1952.


- Have any changes in recent years happened concerning the nature, membership, capacities of the Institution.

Its composition and operation have been modified by the law of 30 December 2009 laying down various provisions. Notably, the non-profit sector (or social profit sector) was included as a full member in the context of a reform of the membership of the Council in 2009.


2. Mandate

Consultation and advisory ☐

Negotiation ☐

Both ✅


3. Mission and attributions

The first and by far the most important mission is to give opinions or formulate proposals concerning employment and social matters to the attention of the Belgian Government and/or Parliament.

The second, residual, is to issue opinions on the conflicts of attribution that may arise between the joint committees at sectoral level.

Since the Act of 5 December 1968 entered into force, the NLC also has the power to conclude collective labour agreements either for all sectors of economic activity or for one of these sectors.

In addition, various laws confer on it a mission of opinion or proposal prior to the adoption of regulations. This is the case both with regard to individual and collective labour law (working hours, employment contracts, protection of remuneration, etc.) and social security law (subjection to social security, the concept of contributory remuneration, pensions, etc.).


4. Composition :

- Number of members: 26

- Duration of the term: 4 years

- Membership categories:

Federations of Employers/ Representatives of Trade Unions


- Process of designating the members (election, nomination, by whom, etc.):

members are appointed by royal decree for a period of 4 years; mandates are renewable.

  • 13 Representatives from the Federations of Employers
    FEB/VBO : 8
    SME : 3
    Agric : 1
    Not for profit : 1
  • 13 Representatives of Trade Unions
    FGTB/ABVV : 6
    CSC/ACV : 6


5. Management organs

Presidium / Bureau / Cabinet / Other: Please specify role, composition, designation :


Assembly General / Plenary session / Other: Please specify role, frequencies of meeting: 1 session buy two months


General Secretariat: Please specify role, composition, designation:


Plenary Council :At least one meeting by month. Adoption of collective labour agreements, opinions, reports, and other instruments. The plenary Council has 26 full members and 26 alternate members. They are appointed by royal decree for a period of 4 years; mandates are renewable. The seats are divided equally between the workers' and employers' organizations. Only full members have a deliberative vote.

Executive Board (Bureau) :At least one meeting by month. Practical organization of council’s work.

The Executive Board is constituted by the Council and composed of 10 members: the President, four Vice-Presidents, four members chosen equally by the Council and the Secretary.

Its mission is to:

  • to set the agenda for the Council's work;
  • to prepare the consideration of the items on the agenda and to define the procedure;
  • to ensure the implementation of Council decisions;
  • to submit to the Council the annual budget proposals.


Committees + Working Parties :Actual work of the Council. Meetings when required according to Council’s activities.


Secretariat :provides the logistical support necessary for the performance of its tasks. The Secretariat is currently composed of about forty staff appointed by the Council; the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary are appointed by the King.


6. Operational arrangement of the Permanent Secretariat

Yes ✅

No ☐


7. Gender balance (% of women)

Between 0% and 9% ☐

Equal or more than 10% ☐

Equal or more than 30% ☐

Equal or more than 50% ✅


8. Reporting Institution

Government ✅

Parliament ✅

Cabinet of President ☐

Cabinet of Prime Minister ☐

Ministry of Finance ☐

Ministry of Labour ✅

Ministry of Social Affairs ☐

Others (please specify):


9. Budget

Amount :

Between $0 and $249,000 ☐

Equal or more than $250,000 ☐

Equal or more than $500,000 ☐

Equal or more than $750,000 ✅


Budget from the Employment Ministry


III. Organizational Structure


1. Committees/Sub-committees/working groups:

The actual work of the NLC takes place in committees whose tasks are determined by the Executive Board. The effective and alternate members of the Council shall participate in these committees and may be assisted by experts.

The commissions that generally operate are (notably) as follows:

  • the Works Councils Commission ;
  • the Committee on Individual Labour Relations;
  • the Committee on Collective Labour Relations;
  • the Social Security Commission;
  • the “Europe” Committee;
  • the International Labour Organisation Committee.

Given the competences of the Central Council of the Economy, when common problems are examined (mobility, SDG, Recover and resilience strategy, etc.) there are discussed in joint committees where members of both Councils and experts are invited.


2. Is there in your country any institutions of social dialogue outside your institutions?

The social partners are represented in the various bodies in charge of the management of the social security.


IV. Functioning of the ESC


1. Who convenes the Institution?

The China Economic and Social Council


2. Has the Institution a legal right to issue own-initiative opinion? Yes.



3.How are decisions taken inside the Institution

By vote ☐

By consensus ✅


4. What kind of payment do the Councillors receive: wage, compensation, other?

Compensation for participation to the meetings.


5. Is the Government obligated to follow the opinion issued by the Institution?

No with the exception of some specific legislations.


6. Is the Government obligated to report on the fate of the Institution opinions?



7. Are there official publications of the Institution opinions?

Collective agreement are declared generally binding by royal decree published in the “Moniteur belge”.


8. Is the public opinion informed about the Institution works? How?

Press released are published on the web site of the council. Various press articles are published on important opinions and collective agreements adopted by the council.


9. What kind of relationship does the ESC have with civil society?

Part of the Institution ☐

Institutionalised relation ☐

Uninstitutionalised relation ☐

Collaboration ✅

Participation in the drafting of reports ✅

Nothing at all ☐


V.Main technical areas of competencies


Since the Council discusses topics upon social partners´ interest and request, all the mentioned fields are subject of discussion within the Working Teams and Plenary Session.

Agriculture : ☐

Civil Society ☐

Corporate Social Responsibility : Involvement in the national action plan on business and human rights

Culture ☐

Education and Training : Consultation on the individual learning account, Inter sectoral and sectoral policies on vocational training.

Employment policy and labour market regulation : Collective labour agreements : minimum wage, working time, telework, labourcontracts (part-time,temporary contracts), prepensionsystem.

Environmental Policy : Mobility plan for workers, involvement on SDGs, greening economy, collective labour agreement on eco vouchers

European Affairs : Regular follow up of European activities true a specific committee, Transposition of European instruments (directives as for instance on posting of worgers, trasparent working conditions,Implementation of European framework agreements, Involement in the European semester (consultation on National Reform Program, on the Recovery and Resiliance Plan)

Financial and Economic Policies : CEuropean semester, recovery and resilience strategy. Tax shift, social security contributions.

Fiscal and Taxation Policies ☐

Fundamental principles and rights at work : Involvement in ILO activities

Gender equality and anti-discrimination : Collective agreement on equal treatment, brochure on diversity.

Governance : ☐

Health and Medical Policy : Return to work process of long term seek workers

Infrastructure, Transport, and Energy Policies : SDG, mobility

International affairs : ILO

Labour Law reform : Status of workers, platform workers, green and digital transition, collective agreements on end of careers, vacation and break of career schemes.

Legal Affairs ☐

Productivity and competitiveness : Collective labour agreements on wages and on part time transition to end of career for defined categories of ageing workers

Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy and Industrial Policy : ☐

Social Affairs : Consultation on social affairs policies

Social Dialogue and Tripartism : Transposition of Directives on European Works Councils, on the involvement of employees in the European Company, and on the involvement of employees in the European Cooperative Society.

Industrial relations and Collective bargaining ☐

Dispute prevention and resolution ☐

Social Security and Social Protection : Digitalisation of social protection, access to social security systemes, social status of workers (artists, platform workers, etc.)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) : Follow up of SDG and national Plan.

Territorial Management ☐

Workplace compliance and working conditions : Health and security policies, Burnout, fight against social and fiscal fraud.

Youth Employment ☐

Other :

VI. Brief description of major results obtained by your Institution in the last 3 years

Please give examples (Recommendations issued, Reports, Collective Agreements concluded, Conflict prevention and social peace obtained, National policies or legal frameworks including recommendations, Reform of your institution) and attached relevant documents

Competitiveness – wages – part time transition to end of career for defined categories of ageing workers:

  • CLA N° 43/15 of 15.07.2021 on progressive increases of the national minimum wage and opinion 2237 of the same date related to fiscal and para-fiscal support and compensation measures implementing the central social partners (Group of 10) framework agreement of 25.07.2021.
  • CLA N° 156 and 157 of 15.07.2021 on part time transition to end of career for defined categories of ageing workers and opinion 2238 of 15.07.2021 also implementing the G10 agreement.


Impact of the Covid 19 crisis

  • Interprofessional collective Labour Agreement (CLA) No. 149 of 26.01.2021 and 149/2 of 07.12.2021: Telework made mandatory or recommended by the authorities due to the coronavirus crisis
  • CLA No. 147 of 18.03.2020: Total suspension of the employment contract and/or reduced-time work regime in case of lack of work due to the coronavirus crisis
  • CLA No. 160 of 19.11.2021: Justified absence from work for a covid-19 screening test on the basis of the self assessment testing tool.
  • Social partners’ Joint declaration of 29.06.2021 on the prohibition of discrimination against workers on the basis of their Covid-19 vaccination status
  • Opinion 2226 of 29.06.2021: Temporary support measures due to the covid-19 pandemic
  • Opinion 2258 of 07.12.2021: Extension of various measures in the field of labour law following the covid-19 pandemic


Green economy mobility

  • CLA No. 98/9 of 21.12.2021: eco-vouchers
  • Joint opinions with CEC on mobility:
  • Opinion 2239 of 28.09.2021 on the draft law organising the fiscal and social greening of mobility
  • Opinion 2259 of 21.12.2021 on the "Basic principles for the vision of rail 2040"
  • Opinion 2273 of 26.01.2022 : Prices of train cards from 1 February 2022
  • Opinion 2274 of 26.01.2022: Flexible subscriptions: levers for increasing daily journey from home to work by train


Work organisation

  • Opinion 2170 of 30.06.2020: AIP 2017-2018 – Innovative work organisation


Participation in the European debate and in the implementation of European instruments

  • Opinion 2197 of 05.02.2021: Proposal from the European Commission of 28 October 2020 on minimum wage fixing – conventional nature of the Belgian minimum wage system for the private sector.
  • Opinion 2216 of 05.05.2021: Implementation of Council Recommendation (EU) 2019/C387/01 of 8 November 2019 on access to social protection for employed and self-employed persons.
  • Report 122 of 05.05.2021: Annual report on the implementation of the European Framework Agreement on Digitalisation
  • Report 123 of 13.07.2021: Synthesis report on the implementation by the Belgian social partners of the European Framework Agreement on active ageing, March 2017
  • Opinion 2252 of 30.11.2021: Transposition of Directive (EU) 2019/1937 on the protection of whistleblowers - Draft law
  • Opinion 2263 of 21.12.2021: Setting national targets following the European Action Plan implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights
  • Opinion 2264 of 21.12.2021: Transposition of the Directive on work-life balance - Work in progress about 2 CLA
  • Opinion 2265 of 21.12.2021: Non-discrimination - Protection against retaliation (transposition of the "Hakelbracht" ECJ judgment).
  • Opinion 2272 of 25.01.2022:T ransposition of Directive (EU) 2019/1152 on transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union – Work in progress


Return to work

  • Opinion 2099 of 25.09.2018 : Voluntary return to work process for people with a health problem


Posting of workers - Fight against social fraud and tax evasion/ social dumping

  • Opinion 2147 of 26.11.2019: Transposition of Directive EU 2018/957 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 June 2018 amending Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services – Work in progress (ELA, Brexit, Single Digital Gateway, Working in Belgium)
  • Opinion 2255 of 30.11.2021: Posting of drivers in the field of road transport
  • Cooperation Protocol with SIRS
  • Opinion 2227 of 29.06.2021 : Investigation into social fraud – Contribution to the SIRS Strategic Plan 2022-2025 and Action Plan 2022


Burn out

As part of the implementation of the 2017-2018 inter-professional agreement and in close cooperation with the FPS Employment, the National Labour Council has set up a support system for pilot projects implemented within companies in the primary prevention of burn-out.



AICESIS, European Semester Group of the EESC

Emplacement de la carte

company map
17 Avenue de la Joyeuse Entrée, Bruxelles 1000, Bruxelles, Belgium

Personnes de contact

Legal advisor
Andrea Bellagamba (+)
Rudy DELARUE (+)
Secrétaire général
Jean-Paul DELCROIX (+)










 ecosoc ilo  




fb  twitter