11 januari 2024

The statutory minimum hourly wage as of January 1st, 2024, is based on a 36-hour workweek. For our sectors, the introduction of a minimum hourly wage means an additional increase of 5.6% for fashion, footwear, sports, jewelry, perfumeries, tobacco and convenience stores, and garden centers, and 2.8% for the home furnishings sector.

You can find the new salary tables on this webpage.

Is the workweek permanently reduced to 36 hours?

No, the adjustment to an hourly wage does not affect the workweek. Our collective labor agreement (cao) still maintains the 37 and 38-hour workweek. The legislator has only made a change in the calculation of the statutory minimum hourly wage, not in the duration of the workweek. Therefore, you are free to agree on a 36, 37, 38, or 40-hour workweek with the employee.

Can I change my employee’s workweek to 36 hours?

Yes, it is possible. The employee would then work part-time, as the standard workweek in the collective labor agreement is still 38 or 37 hours. However, the employee must agree to a modification of the weekly working hours. You can download a model agreement through our advice tool to legally document this adjustment. We also have a template letter available.
Adjusting the number of hours per week can be attractive for employers to control labour costs by diminishing the total hours per week and adapting store opening hours. It is advisable to schedule employees during peak revenue times. If you want to adjust your opening hours, we recommend doing this in collaboration with neighboring entrepreneurs.

Do I need to keep track of working hours for each employee?

The current method of calculating monthly salary is based on 164.67 hours per month for a 38-hour workweek, resulting in a minimum salary of € 2.185,17 per month.

As 2024 contains an extra Monday and Tuesday, totaling 262 working days, if you still apply the current method as of January 1st, 2024, a correction needs to be made at the end of the year or when an employee leaves the company. This correction ensures that employees are paid at least the new statutory minimum wage of € 13,27 per hour.

It is crucial to maintain accurate hourly records in 2024, for staff earning statutory minimum wage. This does not apply to higher wages.

What increase do I apply for the employees not in the correct step due to a higher salary?

It is essential that employees are correctly classified in the level of their position. If an employee is not in the correct step because they earn more, you look at the salary of the step closest to theirs, choosing the lower of the two. Due to different percentual increases in the new salary tables, this must be applied accurately.

For example:
Sales associate in sports is in salary group B and earns € 12,55 per hour. Comparing with the table from July 2023, B2 € 12,54 is the appropriate level, resulting in an 8.98% salary increase. This is the percentual raise for the B2-level, from July 2023 to January 2024.

Sales associate in home furnishings is in salary group E and earns € 14,15 per hour. Comparing with the table from July 2023, E4 € 13,96 is the appropriate level, resulting in a 5.49% salary increase. This is the percentual raise for the B2-level, from July 2023 to January 2024.

To simplify this process and the increase for employees in the correct step, a calculation tool is being developed in dutch, available from Monday January 15th.

In the final offer, it is stated that the step increase will be frozen. What about performance-dependent rewards?

In principle, the freezing of the step increase also applies to performance-dependent rewards. INretail advises to assess each situation individually, as employers want to take into account the employee’s performance in the reward process.

What increase should I grant to employees who were initially above scale but are now back within the scale?

In the past, the salary of employees who were above scale and entered the new salary scale was increased to the new maximum of the scale. In this collective labor agreement (cao), an additional step has been added to the salary table. At the same time, the step increase is frozen for one year. For this reason, the employee’s salary is placed in the scale closest to his salary in the job scale (this will then be a 2% box). You then apply the percentage associated with the highest white box in that scale. If, with the above calculation, the employee again earns more than the new maximum of the scale and is therefore above-scale, the increase is capped at this new maximum.
An employee in the sports and footwear sector is in job group E and earns 15.68 euros. This employee re-enters the scale as of January 1, 2024. The salary increase percentage for the highest step in the basic salary structure is 9.79%. The employee’s salary is increased by this percentage, making it 17.22 euros.

What percentage should be applied to employees in the upper-scale range?

For this, it is necessary to refer to the percentage located in the top white box before the upper-scale range begins, in the salary scale associated with the employee’s position.
For example: An Assistant Store Manager in the fashion department is classified in job group D7. In this case, they would receive a percentage increase of 6.49%.

What about employees earning above the scale?

An employee is overscaled when they earn more than the highest hourly wage in their scale. An extra step is added to each scale in the additional salary structure (the green section). No agreements are made in the collective labor agreement regarding a salary increase for overscaled employees due to this extra step. Employers are free to grant an increase, but INretail cannot provide advice on the percentage.

Do employees receive a level increase upon reaching an experience year in addition to this increase?

Employees normally receive a level increase upon reaching an experience year (for example: an increase from level B1 to B2). These level increases will be frozen for one year.This means that employees reaching an experience year in 2024 will not receive this level increase in that year. Employees hired in 2024 or reaching the age of 21 in 2024, who would receive a level increase in 2025, will not receive it in 2025.

Can advances in salary increases ahead of the collective labor agreement be offset?

As an employer, you may have already provided a salary increase as of January 1st, 2024, ahead of the CLA. The already given increase may be offset against the subsequent collective labor agreement increase(s), if you had informed your staff of such possible offset. This also applies if you collectively provided a higher salary increase than the collective labor agreement increase.

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Marleen van Maurik

Marleen van Maurik


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