BELGIUM: New pricing rules for external OSH services

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A government bill relating to the financing of external OSH services aims to ensure that their prices are more transparent for enterprises and are no longer based exclusively on the monitoring of workers’ health.

At the end of October, the Social Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives approved a government bill relating to the financing of external OSH services (Services Externes pour la Prévention et la Protection au Travail, SEPPT). This bill concerns all enterprises which are affiliated to a SEPPT and which do not have their own medical section, including micro-enterprises (five workers at most). For the latter, a different (lower) price scale is planned to facilitate, insofar as possible, their access to external services. 

It is the duty of all enterprises to monitor closely and improve the well-being of their workers, not just by sending them to consult the industrial doctor when necessary. Occupational risk prevention also concerns other fields such as psychosocial aspects, ergonomics and occupational hygiene. This risk prevention is very important, especially when the objective is to achieve longer and more sustainable careers for the greatest possible number of workers.

The government bill implements the March 2015 agreement between the social partners on establishing minimum prices, which vary depending on the more or less dangerous nature of businesses’ activities, but also determining the services that the external services must provide in exchange for the fixed premium. As a result, the price scale will be more transparent.

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