On Wednesday, the chamber is expected to approve a law proposition which will mean salaries cannot be paid in cash, making bank transfer the easiest option. While this method is already commonly used, the 1965 law for the protection of payment still says that payment must be done directly. 50 years ago, people were often paid in cash, so the 1965 law said it had to be done directly. Noncash payments were only possible with the agreement of the Company’s board or the Union. For businesses that didn’t have a Union, the worker and the employer had to agree. Things have changed a lot since then, and bank transfers are generally used now. It means that companies don’t have to keep a lot of cash on hand, and workers don’t have to walk around with it. It also makes household budgeting easier, and reduces the risk of fraud.
The initial proposition would have made noncash payment the law. After a decree by the National Labour Council (NLC), which is made up of social partners, a few exceptions were added to the text. Certain sectors want to keep cash payment for some things. It would be difficult to share tips out between workers without cash payment, for example. Foreign workers might not have a bank account in Belgium.
The text says payments must be noncash. A salary can be paid in cash if this is included in a collective labour convention signed with a joint body or if there is “an implicit agreement or if it is usual for the sector”.
The law will come into place after it is published by the Monitor.
Jason Bennett (Source: Belga)