After several months of negotiations, the ABBL, ALEBA, OGBL and LCGB reached an agreement applicable retroactively from 1 January 2021 until 31 December 2023.
In a context marked by the Covid-19 crisis, the new CBA brings changes both in qualitative terms, with a view to improving employees' working conditions, and in financial terms, in particular to recognise employees' efforts to adapt to new technologies during the health crisis. The new CBA also provided an opportunity to clarify points that had been litigious in recent years under the old CBA.
Regarding qualitative improvements, the new CBA aims to promote notably the following aspects:
The implementation of a right to disconnection
Anticipating the implementation of a legal right to disconnect, the CBA provides that it is up to each company in the banking sector, in compliance with the competence of the staff delegation, to define and implement a specific right to disconnect regime.
Depending on the particular situation of the company, it should provide for measures to disconnect from digital tools, awareness-raising and training measures as well as compensation arrangements in the event of exceptional derogation from the regime.
Prevention of psychosocial risks
Each bank, in consultation with the staff delegation, is committed to improving the prevention of psychosocial risks and the quality of life at work in general.
Corporate social responsibility
The banks undertake, in consultation with the staff delegation, to implement improvements in corporate social responsibility through a number of measures cited as examples by the CBA, such as the development of a guide to good practice in the event of a return from long-term absence, the promotion of diversity, investment in employee qualifications and continuous training, the motivation of employees through the introduction of innovative working models (e.g. teleworking).
Reconciliation of family and working life
At the request of the staff delegation, the banks are obliged to discuss an agreement to better reconcile family life with the employee's professional life.
The telework agreement signed on 20 October 2020 between the social partners and declared as a general obligation has been annexed to the CBA and is therefore an integral part of it. Where telework is regular, the CBA provides that the costs directly caused by telework will be compensated at a minimum of 3 euros (index 100) per person per month, i.e. 25 euros at the current index.
In terms of financial improvements, salary increases have been agreed by the social partners.
A general and linear salary increase of 0.7% for 2022 and 0.5% for 2023 is foreseen for each employee in order to reward the acquisition and development of skills in new technologies due to the health crisis.
A global envelope of 0.3% of the reference payroll for 2022 and 0.5% for 2023 is also foreseen to reward the acquisition and implementation of skills (min. 5 € -index 100- in case of an increase granted).
In addition, there is a 1% increase for employees who fall into the eight-year cycle of presumed competence for 2021, 2022 and 2023.
In the case of group changes, a minimum increase of 15 euros (index100) for group changes was approved.
The new CBA also clarified some controversial points in the old versions of the CBA.
Employees with senior management status are expressly excluded from the scope of the CBA. Whether or not they are senior managers is therefore a crucial issue for employees.
In the context of the “false manager” litigation of recent years, the new CBA has clarified the CBA’s scope by adding that all the criteria of the definition of senior manager in the Labour Code must be fulfilled for an employee to qualify as a senior manager. If all the conditions are not met, all labour legislation, including working hours and overtime, is applicable to the concerned employee. Furthermore, any senior management clause in the employment contract of an employee who does not meet the criteria for senior management status would be null and void.
In this respect, an effort has also been made to clarify the functions of group D in order to better draw the line with senior management employees outside the scope of the CBA.
In addition, the article on annual leave has been amended to take into account the additional statutory day of leave granted in 2019, bringing the number of annual leave days to 26.
For the ABBL, the benefit of the 26th day of leave applied only to employees with only 25 days of leave per year, which therefore excluded employees who already had more than 25 days of leave due to their additional age-related leave. In its new version, the CBA expressly provides that the days of leave linked to seniority are added to the annual leave of 26 days.
The CBA is available in three languages: French, German and English.