In its decision of 6 May 2016, the Labour Court of Appeal of Liège examined the case of an employee claiming payment of overtime from his former employer. The latter contested the validity of the employee’s claim, notably because it considered that the employee had not provided evidence of the overtime hours and, furthermore, the employee held a managerial and confidential position.
Having ruled that the employee had provided evidence of the overtime, the Court did however agree that the employee held a managerial and confidential position. In this respect, the Court highlighted the ongoing debate in case law concerning payment of overtime for managerial and/or confidential personnel: some argue that no payment at all is due for overtime, whereas others argue that, even though no extra payment is due, normal remuneration is due.
In this particular case, the Labour Court of Appeal of Liège favoured the second argument. In its view, normal remuneration for overtime hours may be claimed by the employee if there is a legal basis other than the Act of 16 March 1971, in particular the employment contract, custom or even equity. This decision reminds us that the employer is not immune from all claims to (normal) remuneration for overtime hours worked by managerial and/or confidential personnel when the employment contract or a custom within the organization (or even equity) allows the employee to claim it.
Each employer should therefore review its organization’s situation in order to anticipate and, if possible, prevent such claims.