The years 2023-2024 are those that will be covered by a possible next interprofessional agreement. But the limited margin available for wage increases beyond automatic indexation risks further complicating future negotiations between the social partners. For the Bureau du Plan, gross hourly wages before indexation would only increase by 0.1% per year on average during the period 2023-2024. Then they would increase by 0.8% per year on average during the period 2025-2027.
During the last wage negotiations for 2021-2022, the margin for the wage increase had been established at 0.4%, in addition to indexation, which had been deemed insufficient by the unions, who are calling for a revision of the law of 1996 which regulates the development of wages in the private sector in Belgium. The union common front will also demonstrate Monday in Brussels to support this claim.
According to the Planning Bureau, growth in the nominal hourly wage cost is accelerating, rising from 0.7% in 2021 to 5.2% in 2022, under the effect of wage indexation (respectively 1.0% and 5.2%) and the increase in gross hourly wages before indexation (respectively 0.1% and 0.4%).