The wages of nearly a half a million white collar workers rise by 1.1%. 55,000 businesses are covered by the agreement. In some businesses some of the rise may be paid as luncheon vouchers.
Starting 1 September employees will also be able to use eco-cheques to purchase scooters, monocycles and hover boards as long as these don’t include a combustion engine or a diesel-electric engine.
In addition legal insurance becomes partly tax deductible (to the tune of 40%) with a ceiling for the full amount of 310 euros next year. The government wants to encourage greater access to this instrument.
In Flanders paid educational leave is being replaced by Flemish educational leave. Every single private sector worker can take such leave covering 125 hours of schooling and still receive a wage. In job-learning will also qualify. Flanders is introducing educational cheques. Employees can get half the cost of labour market-oriented trainings refunded up to 125 euros a year. For Dutch courses, ITC or trainings for professions in which there is a great shortage of workers employees won’t have to contribute towards the fee.
The Flemish educational credit will allow employees to retrain completely for jobs in sectors in which there is a great shortage of workers. Employees will be able to take full-time, half-time or 20% leave as well as receive a grant.
1 September is also the start of the new schoolyear. This year boys in the first year of secondary school too will qualify for the free HPV vaccine against the human papilloma virus. It has emerged that boys too enjoy a considerable health gain as a result of the vaccine. HPV is a sexually transmitted infection.