How can I enforce my employment rights?

We often refer to the employment rights that every employee benefits from. It is important that they’re there, but these are only useful if you can actually use of them. Here are the first steps you should take and what else you can do.

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To enforce your rights, you must be able to prove that you have worked for an employer. See an example of documentary evidence here.

Welke stappen om mijn rechten af te dwingen.

Carry out a negotiation yourself.
Some employers are open to discussion. Colleagues are often able to help with this. If your employer mistreats you or doesn’t pay you however, you should leave. Employers who claim they will pay you later, rarely do.

Ask for help
It can sometimes help if a documented person goes with you to your employers or mediates for you. Mediation often has more chance of success than an official complaint. You may well have to compromise and you need to be able to rely on your employer to keep to the agreement. Your employer’s customers are sometimes also able to exert pressure on your employer.

If you can’t reach an agreement with your employer, the testimony of the mediator can be useful in any subsequent steps. You can also always get in touch with specialised services such as FAIRWORK Belgium or a trade union and ask if they can help you.

Lodge a complaint or take the matter to court

You can also lodge a complaint with the labour inspectorate. You’ll find more information here.

Or you can take the matter to court. You’ll find the necessary information here.

Important: Never sign anything (a document/contract) if you do not understand what it says! Ask someone else to read your contract and explain it to you before you sign it. Always ask for a copy of the contract for your own records.

Important! Never commit any criminal offence in order to enforce your rights. Never use threats, physical violence or theft. This could put your rights at risk.