International legal practice Osborne Clarke has developed a new legal technology tool for its clients in Belgium.

The tool is designed to aid employers in Belgium at the first stage in navigating the legal obligations around terminating an employee's permanent contract. Businesses operating in Belgium, particularly international ones, are often unprepared for the highly complex regulatory landscape of local labour law. The dismissal tool, offered as part of Osborne Clarke's legal technology platform, OCSolutions, will allow users to calculate the notice period and indemnity in lieu of notice as well as provide users with general dismissal info and a first risk-assessment for the termination of a white-collar employee.

The Belgian labour market is unique in that many sectors have an automatic indexation of salaries, recently triggering a staggering wage increase of more than 11% for hundreds of thousands of workers. This spike in salaries will in turn impact the profit margins of companies and could trigger a reduction in the workforce when employers cannot compensate the additional costs by reducing other benefits.

The release of this new tool is also timed to take into account the restructurings in several sectors due to the energy crisis and post-covid period. Employers still have to cope with an uncertain economic climate and chilling growth perspectives in Europe in 2023. Discrimination claims in case of dismissal are also on the rise and employers need to be well prepared to tackle those.

Thierry Viérin, the head of Employment, comments, "We are delighted to bring our innovative combination of digital technology and legal expertise to Belgian employers who are facing new business challenges and an increasingly complex regulatory system."

Founded in 2013, Osborne Clarke's Belgium office counts around 40 lawyers including 8 partners. The team of nationally and internationally recognised experts advise clients across the firm's key sectors technology, media and communications; life sciences and healthcare; energy and utilities; real estate and infrastructure; retail and consumer; financial services; transport and automotive and workforce solutions.

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