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pécule de vacances when changing company

Question

Hello,
I have a question about pécule de vacances.

I'm working in Belgium as employee with permanent contract (white collar) since January 2016.

On December 2018 I switched company.
Same contract same role.
When I left the previous company, I received an amount on my payslip for my holidays matured in 2018 and supposed to be used in 2019.

I work 40 hours per week so I am entitled to 20 days off plus 12 extra days = 32 day total per year.

On May 2019 my salary has been deducted with the amount that I have received from my previous company related to the holidays in object, so I have received less than half of my net salary.

Since the company didn't give me an explanation about that, I am wondering what does it mean?
Am I supposed at this stage to have back my full holidays paid for this year? The all 32 days matured in 2018?

Thank you in advance.

anon

The system here is absolutely crazy and it takes some time to understand it, but basically in December 2018 you were paid your holiday pay for the holidays you will take in 2019.

Everyone has a right to holidays, there rights accrue to you in the current year. So for example, if you have worked 5 months this year, you're entitled to 5/12 of your holidays. If you work for the full year, you'll be entitled to the 20 days (ignore the public holidays, everyone gets them regardless of time worked)

However, your right to PAID holidays accrues to you in the prior year. So, if you worked the full year last year, you will be entitled to the full paid holidays this year.

When you changed jobs, your previous employer paid out to you your accrued holiday pay, i.e. the money you would get this year when you are on holiday.

Because the system is so complicated to manage, rather than transfer your holiday pay entitlement over to the new employer, they just pay it out in one go. Otherwise, they will be paying your holiday pay up to a year after you have left the company.

Although initially designed as a way to encourage companies to pay holiday pay, it has become a way for the Belgian government to deliberately suppress job mobility in the workforce, and increase employment costs and the administrative burden to some of the highest in the world.

Way to go Belgium!!

May 28, 2019 15:46
fab01

Thank you for quick feedback.

last year of course I worked the full year (8 hours per day, 40 hours per week, 12 months), and I accrued 32 paid holidays like in 2017 and 2018.

In 2016 I had 10 unpaid days.
In 2017 I used the holidays accrue in 2016.
In 2018 I used the holidays accrue in 2017.

Now, since the new company has deducted the whole amount I got paid from the old Company I guess I will have my full holidays bundle (accre in 2018 for 2019) set for the rest of this year...

I mean, I can use 32 days between May and December 2018.
Right?

May 28, 2019 17:18
fab01

Sorry for the type... May and December 2019

May 28, 2019 17:31
anon

The only people who can really help you here are the HR dept at where you work as they will know, but basically you are entitled to your holidays, you just won't get paid for them, as you have already been paid for your holidays when you left your previous job.

Also - if your 32 days includes public holidays (which it isn't clear, but I assume it does) then even if you haven't taken any holiday this year, you have already used 3 days, New Years Day, Easter Monday, May 1st and you'll use a fourth on Thursday for Ascension Day, so no, you can't take 32 between now and the end of the year, only 28.

May 28, 2019 19:46
fab01

Hi,

32 days are result of 20 days + 12 days, 1 day each month, as a bonus because I work 40 hours per week and not 38 hours like most of employees.
In addiction to those 32 I have public holidays as well.

So this was basically my concern.
Meanwhile I should receive an answer from HR. As soon as I will receive it I will share those information here as well.

Thank you again for your help and clarification.
I really appreciate that.
Kind regards

May 28, 2019 21:35
ao

You get to take 20 holiday days this year, and the money your new company deducted from your salary will be paid back to you (for each day you are on holiday) to cover the salary of those days off. The 12 days which you accrued due to working 40 hours per week whilst your contractual weekly working hours were 38, are company specific and you will not be able to take them at your new company (also the amount deducted from your salary has not included these days).
.
If now in your new company you work 40days week you have started accruing corresponding extra holidays from the day you started working and can use those days as per he company policy.
.
It is also worth noting that the double pécules (holiday allowance which is paid in addition to paid holidays) was paid to you in your last salary and not deducted by the new employer, so you’ll not receive it this year.
.
After all this the company policies do differ and it is always best to double check with your current HR

May 29, 2019 13:52