Press Release

Recognition of arduous occupations

The first step has been taken !

Recognition of arduous occupations  - The first step has been taken !




BRUSSELS – The social partners, gathered in the Arduous Occupation Committee – part of the National Pension Committee (NPC) -,  have approved a first report in relation to the recognition of arduous occupations insofar as pensions are concerned.


The social partners have decided to continue their talks within the framework of a “collective approach” for the recognition of arduous professions insofar as pensions are concerned. This approach consists in defining criteria for the arduousness of professions which are precise, objective, verifiable, measurable and registrable, and which permit to identify occupational categories benefiting from more favourable modalities in relation to pensions.  


However, the “individual approach” which consists in taking into account the individual situation of employees for the recognition of an arduous profession will be maintained for employees who have a handicap or who are gravely ill. Said individual situation will also be taken into account for self-employed persons for whom no registration system can be created.


The Committee has taken note of the 4 categories of criteria defined within the framework of the talks on the public sector:


·         Demanding  working conditions due to physical inconvenience linked to working conditions or physical strain;

·         Demanding work organisation;

·         Demanding work due to increased safety risks;

·         Strain of a mental or emotional nature.



The definition of the criteria to be taken into account and to be implemented will take place within  the framework of the budgetary margins which will be set by the government during the next budget talks.


The recognition of arduous occupations will permit to either take up early retirement and/or to valorize the pension amount.



The Minister of Pensions, Daniel BACQUELAINE: “I am pleased with this first step in the recognition of the arduousness of certain occupations insofar as pensions are concerned. Now the budgetary margins permitting the determination of the modalities for pension rights – on condition that the arduousness of an occupation is recognized – are to be elaborated”.