ABBL and ACA discriminate against older employees!

On Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 May, the ALEBA, OGBL Secteur Financier and LCGB-SESF unions met the employers’ associations ABBL and ACA, which have advised their members not to grant the additional day of leave (26th day of leave) to all banking and insurance sector employees.

ALEBA, OGBL Secteur Financier and LCGB-SESF reminded ABBL and ACA that the law of 25 April 2019 very clearly stipulates that the period of leave shall be at least twenty-six working days per year, regardless of the employee’s age (L 233-4). Accordingly, it is out of the question that employees aged over 45/50 should not also benefit from the additional day of leave provided for in the Law, especially when both unions and employers have already committed themselves for many years, in the collective bargaining agreements of both sectors, to more favourable conditions for older employees.

In addition to being arbitrary, this reckless interpretation of the Law and collective bargaining agreements, and this inexplicable and dogmatic refusal to grant the additional day of leave to all employees, despite the fact that the Law is clear, constitute a breach of trust between social partners, a rejection of the spirit that has contributed to building employee-employer dialogue in successive collective bargaining agreements and made the banking and insurance sectors attractive. Above all, it is a measure that discriminates against employees aged over 45/50.

The unions also point out that additional days do indeed exist in the collective bargaining agreements for the banking and insurance sectors (personal days) but are:

– firstly, historical compensation for previous fixed non-working days (Carnival Monday, Braderie Monday, Whit Tuesday and 2 November) that have been cancelled and replaced, at the request of employers, by days off in lieu that are more suited to the needs of the financial sector;

– secondly, compensation granted by employer’s associations in exchange for maintaining a 40-hour work week, whereas the unions wanted a shorter work week, and the waiver of linear salary increases in previous agreements.

It is therefore most certainly not a question of “38.5” days of leave, as claimed by the ABBL in a misleading and calculating manner, in particular in the press at the beginning of May.

The ALEBA, OGBL Secteur Financier and LCGB-SESF unions will now inform banking and insurance sector employees of this harmful situation, and organise the necessary legal appeals and action on the ground.


Laurent Mertz                                        Véronique Eischen                                  Patrick Michelet

ALEBA                                                     OGBL Secteur Financier                             LCGB-SESF