Lifelong learning: the annual training plan

Peter Stroobants   |  

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Peter Stroobants

Peter is advocaat en aanspreekpunt voor arbeids- en sociaal recht binnen BOFIDI Legal.

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The new ‘Labour Deal’ (Act of 3 October 2022) provides for many new regulations, including measures to promote lifelong learning. The legislator wants to do this through an individual training act and an annual training plan.

A right to training

The number of days of training to which an employee is entitled depends on the number of employees (converted into full-time equivalents) within the company:

  • fewer than 10 employees: then there is no legal obligation
  • between 10 and 20 employees: one day per year per full-time employee 
  • with at least 20 employees: five training days per year per full-time employee. This quota will be gradually increased from four days (2023) to a maximum of five days from 2024. 

The employer is obliged to provide training opportunities. However, the employee is not obliged to accept these, there is simply an entitlement to training.

Training courses can be taken during or outside normal working hours. If training falls outside normal working hours, there is an entitlement to payment of the normal salary, not to overtime. Training days can be carried forward to the following year.

Creating a training plan

Only employers employing more than 20 people (FTE) must draw up a plan before 31 March each year to include formal and informal training courses together with the target groups for which they are intended.

The employer may choose whether to put this on paper or make it available digitally.

In larger companies (from 50 employees), the Works Council (WK) is consulted, in smaller companies (where there is usually no Works Council) it is the trade union delegation or, if necessary, the employees themselves.

In order for the plan to take effect on 31 March, it must be communicated to employees in advance (15 days – i.e. 15 March), whether or not via the works council or the trade union delegation. After that, the plan must be delivered to the FPS ELSD within one month.

It is possible that sectoral plans will be provided in the future for sectors where this does not yet exist. For the time being, this is only the case in the construction industry (PC no.124).

Although no direct sanctions were provided for by the Act for employers who have not drawn up a training plan, this can lead to administrative fines on inspection (level 1 i.e. up to 800 euros).

Our Bofidi experts will be happy to help you

Is your company covered by the obligation to develop a training plan? Do you have any specific questions about the training plan? Then please do not hesitate to contact Peter. He will be happy to help you further, together with the team of Bofidi Legal experts.