Mediation is a voluntary process of conflict resolution, but can also be ordered by a magistrate. In case of mediation, the conflicting persons are made to find a solution for their difficulties themselves, helped by a third party which is neutral, independent and impartial, i.e. the mediator. We can offer you our expertise in this area considering some of our partners have successfully followed this specific training.
We help clients in the application of all the rules relating to employee representation bodies (works council, safety committee, trade union delegation and European works council), including social elections.
We also get involved in negotiating and drafting collective bargaining agreements plus court cases in relation to collective industrial conflicts (violent acts during strikes and company sit-ins).
The Acts of 10 May 2007 have redoubled the fight against discrimination, including in the workplace. We assist clients in implementing practices and pay scales that comply with the law. We help draft anti-discrimination procedures and manage complaints that arise; if needed, we represent clients before the courts or the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men and the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism.
We carry out complete audits of clients’ HR documentation and practices: standard contracts, works regulations, internal procedures, expense refunds, pay and benefits, etc. The objective is to make sure not only that the company is in line with its statutory obligations but that it also has optimum records and practices that will best protect its interests.
At the preventive stage, we advise clients on how to ensure their practices comply with the employment regulations. In the event of an audit or proceedings further to suspected breach of the Employment Criminal Code, we help and guide our clients and their officers at inspection hearings. We maintain appropriate contacts with the employment pubic prosecutors and the judicial authorities and represent clients before the criminal and civil courts.
We advise on all aspects of employment, in particular in negotiating and/or drafting employment contracts containing individual clauses designed specially for particular forms of business. We help clients define and implement individual lay-offs and end-of-career schemes for executives and older workers (unemployment allowances with company top-up, time-credit, sabbaticals, etc.). We also assist clients in emergencies: disciplinary proceedings or termination on serious grounds.
In conjunction with our specialist network of foreign correspondent firms, we help Belgian and multinational firms in relation to the mobility of their executives in Europe and across the globe. In this field, we cover every aspect, from tax and social security planning to getting work and residence permits. We also give guidance on postings from and to foreign countries.
We help you set up appropriate procedures for using e-mail, the internet and social networks in the workplace. We advise you on introducing tools such as video-surveillance or GPS location in compliance with the rules on employees’ privacy. If necessary, we help in dealing with the Privacy Commission and carry out all the legal steps needed for processing staff data, especially in the case it is sent abroad or disclosed to a subcontractor.
Know-how, data banks, trade secrets, patents and so on: companies generally take adequate measures to safeguard their intangibles from competitors, but not always from their own workforce. At the preventive stage, we help you build adequate clauses into your employment contracts and internal procedures. At the curative stage, we raise court proceedings (under the summary proceedings if necessary), to stem flows of confidential or protected data essential to your business.
We have developed a specialised expertise in the field of reorganisations, collective lay-offs and closures of (parts of) undertakings. The range of our involvement particularly covers information, consultation and negotiation with the employee representatives. We deal with the official formalities, notifications to the authorities, creation of employment cells, etc.
We also help clients in operations of transfers of (parts of) undertakings, outsourcing and in mergers and acquisitions.
We help clients draw up and implement working arrangements that go beyond the employment contract. We assess whether using such forms of engagement are advantageous or legal and prepare the appropriate paperwork.
Issues linked to well-being in the workplace and the pyscho-social burden generated at and by work, have in recent times become one of the major bugbears in the management of human resources. You can rely on our widespread experience to assist you in dealing with these issues, whether at a preventive stage or in dealing with disputes.