ACCIDENTS AT WORK  - Clyde Robinson -  Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Photo: Clyde Robinson - Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

- By Equal team

ACCIDENTS AT WORK

DIVISION OF COMPETENCE AIDS NON-DISCRIMINATION

On 24 March 2016, the Constitutional Court issued a judgment (51/2016) on a preliminary question about a possible discrimination of the employer of an “apprentice” in vocational training falling within the framework of a vocational training system instituted by a decree of the Flemish government.

In effect, the employers of “apprentices” are not considered as employers and, therefore, do not benefit from civil immunity in the case of an accident at work. The employee may thus pursue them for compensation against the harm suffered.

The Court decided that the system is not discriminatory on the basis of the nature of the system of immunity for accidents at work and the division of powers between the Federal State and the Flemish Community.

Concerning the system of immunity for accidents at work, the Court issued a reminder of its double foundations: on the one hand, it exists to insure an employee against professional risk and, on the other, it exists to maintain social order between companies. As a social security system, it may justify limiting the benefit of the system to those who contribute to it (which is not the case for employers of apprentices).

The additional interest in this judgment is found in the balance that it maintains between the powers of the Federal State and the Flemish community: where the first is competent in matters of social security, the second is competent in matters of training.

Associated areas of specialisation: Health and social security