Public holidays in 2020
As 2019 is gradually coming to an end, we want to provide you with an overview of the Belgian public holidays for 2020 and a reminder of the rules applicable to replacement days.
Public holidays in 2020
- New Year's Day - Wednesday, January 1st 2020
- Easter Monday - Monday, April 13th 2020
- Labour Day - Friday, May 1st 2020
- Ascension Day - Thursday, May 21th 2020
- Whit Monday - Monday, June 1st 2020
- Belgian National Holiday - Tuesday, July 21st 2020
- Assumption Day - Saturday, August 15th 2020
- All Saints’ Day - Sunday November 1st 2020
- Armistice Day - Wednesday, November 11th 2020
- Christmas - Friday, December 25th 2020
If a public holiday falls on a Sunday or another day which is normally a non-working day (usually a Saturday), it must be replaced by a replacement day on a normal working day. In theory, in Belgium, employees cannot be required to work on public holidays. The employer however is obliged to pay the employee a normal salary for that holiday. In the list above, the public holidays that fall on a non-working day in the course of 2020 have been marked in bold. Employees are entitled to two replacement days in 2020: one for Assumption Day (Saturday, August 15th) and one for All Saints’ Day (Sunday, November 1st).
The law of January 4, 1974 provides for the manner in which replacement days should be determined. In theory, the Joint industrial Committee competent for each sector may decide when replacement days shall fall, but in practice we don’t see this very often. If the Joint industrial Committee has not taken its decision before October 1, 2019, each company may decide for itself when the replacement days for its employees will fall. The company may take that decision in one of the following ways:
- By the Works Council;
- If the company has no Works Council, by agreement between the union representatives and the employer;
- If the company has a Works Council nor union representatives, by agreement between all the employees and the employer;
- If no agreement can be reached for the whole company, individual agreements may be drawn up between the employer and each employee.
If replacement days cannot be decided upon using one of the solutions above, they automatically fall on the next normal working day following the public holiday (usually a Monday).
Employers must inform their employees of the replacement days for 2020 by displaying a signed and dated document on the company premises before December 15, 2019.
A sample of such a document can be obtained from your payroll administrator at Pro-Pay.