The law dated 12 April 2019 implementing a legal framework for the implementation of a time savings account (TSA) has been published in the Memorial on 24 April (the Law).

A TSA allows employees to capitalise hours worked on top of ordinary working time.

The implementation of a TSA is only possible if foreseen by a collective bargaining agreement or a national or sectorial inter-professional agreement.

The Law provides that for companies in which the collective bargaining agreement has been concluded before the entry into force of the Law and provides for a TSA, the concerned rules remain applicable during the whole period of validity of the relevant collective bargaining agreement.

The collective bargaining agreement for bank employees 2018-2020 (the CBAB) provides in its article 34 for the possibility to implement a TSA. The terms of the CBAB as well as the agreement concluded on the basis of the CBAB remain valid.

It should be recalled that the CBAB specifies that at the request of the staff delegation, a bank is required, within a time limit of 30 days, to open negotiations on the creation of a TSA. The staff delegation must attach a draft agreement to the request. If the employer declines to open negotiations, the staff delegation may refer the matter to the Joint Commission.

These are the main points of the Law:

  • The TSA can only be used by employees with a seniority of at least two years. This condition linked to seniority is currently not foreseen by the CBAB; 
  • The TSA is fed and used in hours (and not in money) and limited to a maximum of 1,800 hours. The CBAB does currently not foresee a maximum limit of saved hours; 
  • The employer is obliged to implement a system that guarantees the accurate and detailed record of the TSA and to prepare a monthly statement; 
  • An individual consultation by the employee has to be guaranteed at any moment;  
  • The use of the hours of the TSA has to be fixed as for leaves, i.e. in general pursuant to the employee’s wishes and at least one month beforehand. The CBAB provides that the leave has to be requested four months beforehand and specifies the terms of refusal and postponement of the leave; 
  • The employee is considered to be on paid leave during the use of his rights under the TSA; 
  • The employee is obliged to keep the employee’s position for the duration of the leave or if this deems to be impossible, a similar position corresponding to his/her qualifications and with a remuneration that is at least equivalent; 
  • The staff delegation has to monitor the implementation and proper performance of the TSA.