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A worker who has perpetrated such acts may face a disciplinary sanction. In the private sector, the employer is authorised to include in the work regulations a number of sanctions that can be inflicted on workers.
The sanctions may be:
- moral condemnation: warning, reprimand, written reprisal, etc.
- material penalties: fine, refusal to grant a bonus or benefit, etc.
- a change in situation: temporary suspension of the employment contract, etc.
The employer may apply these disciplinary sanctions under the following conditions:
- only the sanctions set out in the work regulations can be imposed. This condition requires the employer to pay particular attention to these measures when drafting the work regulations.
- The sanctions are only valid if they have been sent to the interested party at the latest on the first working day following the observation of a breach by the employer or their agent.
If the worker has submitted a formal request due to violence or harassment, the employer may note this breach at the earliest when they receive the report from the Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects.
- The sanction must be recorded in a register before the date of the next salary payment.
This register states the name of the worker in question, the date, the reason and the nature of the penalty. If the penalty is a fine, the amount is also mentioned.
- If the sanction is a fine, the total fines imposed per day cannot exceed one fifth of the daily salary.
- The money made from these fines must be reserved for the workers.
- The regulations must provide recourse for workers who wish to make comments or contest the sanction imposed on them.
The sanction may go as far as dismissal in the event of serious misconduct. In this event, the employer must prove that the misconduct is so serious that they can no longer have faith in the worker's services.
For State officials, the sanctions are set out in the legislation that governs their status. These are:
- a warning;
- a reprimand;
- a suspension of pay;
- a disciplinary move;
- a disciplinary suspension;
- a salary reduction;
- a downgrading;
- compulsory retirement;
A worker can contest the disciplinary sanction through the internal system in the court.
- Firstly, with the prevention advisor of the internal and/or external service for prevention and protection at work.
- Secondly, with the competent regional directorate for Supervision of Well-being at Work.
- Questions on the interpretation of the legislation: in writing to the Directorate-General for Humanisation of Labour.