The legislator has introduced the new concept of "career saving" and leaves the detailed
regulation of the concept to the industrial relations partners represented in the National Labour
The whole idea behind the new concept is to allow employees to save "time" in view of
taking days off at a later stage in their career.
The legislator defines the notion "time" as follows:
- the hours of voluntary overtime for which no compensation rest has to be taken (concerning
the topic "voluntary overtime", see section 2); this concerns 25 hours per year,
possibly to be increased to 60 hours;
- supplemental days of vacation, granted by collective labour agreement, concluded at sector
level or at company level; it is striking, in our opinion, that supplemental vacation days,
granted on an individual basis, are not included;
- the number of hours of work, performed – in accordance with the system of gliding work time
schedules (concerning this topic of "gliding work time schedules", see section 12) – in
excess of the average weekly work time at the end of the applicable reference period;
- the hours of overtime, performed because of an extraordinary increase of the workload and
because of an unforeseen necessity, for which the employee, as it pleases him, is not legally
obliged to take compensation rest; in accordance with article 26bis §2bis of the Labour Act, that
number of hours is fixed at 91 hours, possibly to be increased up to 130 or 143 hours.
Upon insistence of the industrial relations partners represented in the National Labour Council,
the legislator has invited them to work out a detailed regulation concerning career saving by
collective labour agreement entered into within the framework of the National Labour Council within
a period of 6 months, which may extended by another 6 months.
Pending the conclusion of such a collective labour agreement, the coming into force of the
statutory stipulations is suspended.
In the (unlikely) event of failure of entering into a collective labour agreement within the
framework of the National Labour Council, the legislator has provided for the possibility to make
detailed arrangements by collective labour agreement entered into at sector level and at company
A number of delicate and complex issues will have to be resolved and adequate solutions will
require a lot of inventiveness and imagination.