The hot potato from the welfare envelope sent to the government

Bosses and unions could not agree on the revaluation of social allowances and pensions for this September 15, the date provided for by law. The case goes to the federal government.

The social interlocutors, meeting within the National Labor Council (CNT) this Wednesday, could only act the lack of consensus on the distribution of the well-being envelope in due time, that is to say for this September 15.


millions of euros

This is the amount of the envelope per year for 2023 and 2024.

It was on this date, according to the law, that they were supposed to send an opinion to the government on a distribution of the envelope: how much for pensions, for the sick, the unemployed… According to estimates by the Planning Office , we are talking about an amount of 965 million euros per year for 2023 and 2024.

But the negotiations never actually started, the employers’ bench does not consider itself bound by the deadline of September 15: the economic context makes the estimates too uncertain, according to them, but above all, they want to couple this negotiation on the revaluation of the income of the inactive with that which must intervene in a few months on that of the active (the interprofessional agreement, AIP).

This summer, the employers’ federations represented in the Group of Ten wrote to the federal government to ask that the welfare envelope be allocated only up to 60%, the rest being put in the fridge until the economic situation clears up.

The bosses still hope to negotiate

This Monday, the letter was made public and the Deputy Prime Ministers PS and Ecolo let it be known that they would stick to the government agreement, which provides for a distribution of 100% of the well-being envelope. To be confirmed in the coming weeks.

The employers refused the unions’ request to put down in writing the failure of the talks.

Sticking to their positions, the two banks failed to agree this Wednesday on the procedure to follow. During the meeting of the CNT bureau on Wednesday, the employers refused the unions’ request to record in writing the failure of the talks.

The latter affirm it however: it is finished. They no longer want to give “leverage to employers in future wage negotiations” by once again coupling the negotiation of the AIP and the well-being envelope. “However, we have always done it like this,” recalls an employer source. “It was before the wage standard was imperative,” we answer on the union side.

It is now up to the government to act. He can ask the social interlocutors to go back to the table. This is the scenario hoped for by the employers’ organisations. He can also consider that there is urgency, given the context linked to inflation, and give a political signal this fall by announcing that he has agreed on a distribution of the envelope, a scenario hoped for by the unions.