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Lunch Debate with Belgian Legal Counsel Institute: "Risks at the workplace: facing new challenges?"

January 13, 2009 • Brussels, Belgium - De Warande


Presented by Crowell & Moring LLP and Instituut voor bedrijfsjuristen/Institut des juristes d'entreprise.

Program:

  • 11:45 Welcome
  • 12:05 Introductory (Anne De Wolf)
  • 12:10 Power Point Presentation (C&M)
  • 13:15 Lunch
  • 14:00 End

Content:
The purpose of the January 13, 2009 seminar is to help you, after a short recapitulation of the applicable rules and principles and recent case law, understand better what is at stake and what are the risks for employers as a result of the growth of the legislative and regulatory framework aiming at safeguarding the principle of equality of employees, strengthening their protection against an all too significant interference by the employer in their private life and guaranteeing in a better way the physical and moral integrity of the employee at the workplace.

More over:
The increased attention to the employee’s well-being in the employment relationship has, over the past few years, resulted in a gradual growth of the relevant legislative and regulatory framework, with the aim of safeguarding the principle of equality between employees, strengthening their protection against an all too significant interference by the employer in their private life and guaranteeing in a better way the physical and moral integrity of the employee at the workplace.

Just, during the year 2007, in Belgium four new laws were passed in the fight against discrimination, in particular in the employment relationship, and the legislation relating to the protection against violence, harassment and unwanted sexual behavior at the workplace was modified.

In the field of employees’ privacy rights, there has been an increase of laws, Royal decrees and collective bargaining agreements, often in a disordered, incomplete or inconsistent way, which has resulted in different strands of case law. This has resulted in a lack of legal certainty for employers. The Belgian data protection authority seems to have understood this and has announced clarifications for the beginning of 2009.

The developments in legislation and case law have certainly enhanced the rights and protection of employees, but have also increased the obligations, risks and uncertainties for employers.

The purpose of the January 13, 2009 seminar is to help you, after a short recapitulation of the applicable rules and principles and recent case law, understand better what is at stake and what are the risks for employers and to propose you practical measures designed to exclude those risks or, at least, to minimize them.

We will therefore: discuss the modifications with respect to the protection against dismissal of employees who have filed a complaint for harassment; examine the issues, which are often very burdensome, relating to discrimination on the basis of age or health of the employees; and provide you with certain principles and rules which, while limiting the risks of an intrusion on the privacy rights of the employee, should allow you, for example, to monitor the use of internet or e-mail, localize employees (gps), allow video surveillance or, allow the employer to transfer personal data abroad.

Speakers: Frederik Van Remoortel and Emmanuel Plasschaert, counsels at Crowell & Moring LLP

Also attending are Julie Vandeloo, Eric Montens, Emmanuel Gybels, Jan Janssen, Christoph De Preter, Flip Petillion and Chloe' Cassen.

Language: Dutch/French

Event Recap:
The speakers gave an overview of the applicable rules, principles and recent case law. The seminar was meant to better understand the issues at stake and the risks for employers. The legislative and regulatory framework is growing and aims at safeguarding the equality of employees, strengthening their protection against a major privacy interference by the employer, and better guaranteeing the physical and moral integrity of the employee at the workplace.

Over 80 members of the Belgian Legal Counsel Institute, as well as other lawyers of the Brussels office of Crowell & Moring, attended the presentation.

The event was organized by Crowell & Moring in collaboration with the Belgian Legal Counsel Institute. Both the director of the IJE, Mrs. Anne De Wolf, as well as all the attendees were very positive about the quality of the organization and the content of this seminar. This event has clearly put Crowell & Morings Brussels Labor & Employment department on the map.

For more information on the IJE, go to http://www.ibj.be/default.aspx. The slides of the presentation are available (Please send an e-mail to pvanrunckelen@crowell.com).

 

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