A new digital portal has been created to manage employees' right to training at the federal level: the "Federal Learning Account". This tool will enable employees to manage and track their individual and sectoral right to training. Since it is primarily the employer's responsibility to register the necessary information in this database, this entails a significant additional administrative burden.
Federal Learning Account
The Labour Deal of 3 October 2022 has established an individual right to training for every employee in the private sector. This individual right to training includes 5 training days per year for every full-time employee starting in 2024 (read more about it in our newsletter on the Labour Deal).
Through the law regarding the establishment and management of the Federal Learning Account, a new digital platform has been created to manage employees' right to training. The Federal Learning Account will not only allow employees to manage their individual right to training but also their sectoral right to training.
The platform provides information to employees, employers, and other stakeholders (such as actors responsible for vocational training tasks, e.g., VDAB or Forem, sectoral training funds, and social security funds, individuals conducting scientific research, social inspection services, etc.) on the following:
- The number of training days to which employees are entitled.
- The training days attended.
- The training attended and their associated basic characteristics.
- The training credit.
The Federal Learning Account will be accessible through the website www.mycareer.be and will be active throughout the professional careers of individuals active on the Belgian labour market.
Obligations for the employer
Moreover, several additional administrative obligations are imposed on employers:
- Employers must register certain personal data of their
employees in the Federal Learning Account. This must be done within
60 calendar days of their employment. This data must then be
updated and revised whenever necessary.
However, for existing employees, employers have a period of 6 months from the entry into force of the law or after the Federal Learning Account is brought into service if it is not yet operational when the law comes into force.
- Employers must register the training session(s) attended by the
employee each quarter, along with the related basic characteristics
and the number of training days or hours associated with them in
the Federal Learning Account.
There is also a provision for training providers to directly register the training attended and the associated basic characteristics in the Federal Learning Account if the employer has not done so. The employer only needs to verify the registered data.
- Employers must verify and, if necessary, adjust or supplement the right to training that employees still have, which is automatically calculated by the platform.
Regarding the employee, the employer has no additional information obligation, except when the employee has not registered an e-mail address via the website www.mycareer.be or shared it via eBox. In that case, the employer must inform the employee about various aspects of the Federal Learning Account, such as processed personal data, purposes, retention period, the status of the training credit, etc., at the time of employment and at least once a year. The legislation specifies that this must be done within 30 calendar days after the standard document that the employer must use becomes available.
Finally, employers must promptly respond to requests to correct data that is not or is incorrectly displayed.
A quarterly overview will be compiled of employers who have not complied with their obligations under the Federal Learning Account. Employers will receive notice of this through their eBox. They will then have 30 calendar days to comply.
The list of employers who still have not fulfilled their obligations will be communicated quarterly to the National Labour Council, the joint (sub)committees, the competent official of the Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue ("FPS ELSD"), and the social inspection services. It will also be published on the website of the FPS ELSD.
As a transitional measure, the list of employers who have not complied with their obligations will not be transmitted and published for the first 6 months following the entry into force of the law or after the Federal Learning Account has been brought into service if it is not yet operational when the law comes into force.
Entry into force
The law relating to the creation and management of the Federal Learning Account will come into force on a date to be determined by the King, but no later than 1 April 2024.
Keep in mind that this new digital application involves additional administrative work, as it is the employer who must register a wealth of information in the Federal Learning Account.
It is important to diligently follow and fulfil these obligations. Employers who do not comply will be listed by name on the' blacklist' on the FPS ELSD website.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.