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Financial Participation

The Belgian trade unions are critical of employee financial participation.

The two main trade union organisations in Belgium – the Christian and the Socialist trade unions – are opposed to employee financial participation, in contrast to the employers’ associations, who support it. The trade unions take the view that employee financial participation blunts the conflict between work and capital. Employee financial participation is only acceptable if it is a supplementary benefit for employees (‘on top’). In no way can it be a partial or complete substitute for regular wages. Profit-sharing models find more favour among the Belgian trade unions than share ownership.1 As Belgian trade unions have a strong position within the framework of industrial relations, their stance on employee financial participation is of great importance.


Wilke, Maack and Partner (2014) Country reports on Financial Participation in Europe. Prepared for www.worker-participation.eu. Reports first published in 2007 and fully updated in 2014.