Flemish government plans to abolish permanent tenure for civil servants
New civil servants employed by the Flemish government will no longer be given permanent positions from 2024. The new measure excludes people working in education. The regional government claims this latest reform could improve working conditions for staff.
As in several European countries, civil servants working for the Flemish government are often granted permanent employment status. Those working in the public sector can either be employed on an ordinary employment contract, as happens in the private sector, or permanently appointed. Around 70 per cent of the approximately 29,000 Flemish civil servants currently enjoy permanent tenure.
Contractual employees enjoy far fewer benefits than their permanently appointed colleagues: their salaries rise less quickly, they can be fired more easily and their pensions are lower. In several countries, such as Austria and Greece, permanent tenure for civil servants has been subject to debate in recent decades, with many arguing that the system is counterproductive.
Current contractual employees might see their chances of acquiring permanent tenure disappear, but their status and pay will improve substantially, Flemish minister of home affairs Bart Somers says.
From 2024, the Flemish government plans to stop permanently appointing its staff members, meaning new staff can only be hired by contract from this point, public broadcaster VRT reported on Monday. The regional government says this means little will change for existing staff members.
Only people in positions of authority will still have a chance of permanent appointment. Moreover, the reform does not apply to teachers or anyone working in the education sector. Education in Belgium is organised by the country's regional governments.
The reform applies only to new hires; little will change for existing staff members. Current contractual employees might see their chances of acquiring permanent tenure disappear, but their status and pay will improve substantially, Flemish minister of home affairs Bart Somers says.
Negotiations will now follow between the Flemish government and civil servants' unions on a number of conditions.
#FlandersNewsService | Flemish home affairs minister Bart Somers © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK