Law Implementing GDPR Published in Belgian Official Gazette

New Legislation Enacted

The Belgian Law of July 30, 2018, on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data was published in the Belgian Official Gazette on September 5, 2018. The law aims to modernize the supervision on data protection, implements the GDPR, and provides derogations for authorities outside the scope of the EU, such as the intelligence and security services.

New Legal Framework on Protection of Business Secrets

New Legislation Enacted

Belgian Law of July 30, 2018, implements EU Directive of June 8, 2016, on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure. The law allows trade secret holders to apply for specific measures, procedures, and remedies to prevent, or obtain redress for, the unlawful acquisition, use or disclosure of their trade secrets. Neither the Directive nor the law are intended to limit the use of non-competes nor limit employees' use of experience and skills honestly acquired in the normal course of their employment.

Bonus May Be Subject to Being Employed at Time of Payment, Court Rules

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

The Brussels Labour Court recently dismissed the claim of a former employee to receive a bonus. The bonus plan, in addition to setting minimum thresholds for performance and length of service, ruled out entitlement to a bonus in case of end of service prior to the date of payment of the bonus. Such a condition was considered valid by the Labour Court. This decision again confirms the importance of adequate wording in bonus plans. Said condition may, however, not be enforceable in situations where payment of a bonus is artificially delayed.

Draft Bill to Increase Minimum Age for Favorable Unemployment Scheme

Proposed Bill or Initiative

Elder employees that are being made redundant can step into a favorable unemployment scheme, provided they meet some specific conditions in terms of length of career and minimum age. The scheme provides for monthly state-paid unemployment benefits and a monthly additional payment by the ex-employer, until the legal retirement age. A draft bill, if enacted, will increase the minimum age from 56 to 60 for employees being made redundant by companies in economic difficulties or in restructuring, with intended effect as of January 1, 2019.