Belgian two-year deal
Belgian unions and employers have reached a framework agreement on key pay and conditions issues for 2001 and 2002.
Pay increases could be as high as 6.8% in some high productivity sectors and there could be other improvements such as extending double holiday pay for the whole of the holiday period and better arrangements for combining work and family life.
Under a 1996 law on employment and competitiveness the government can intervene if an agreement will result in pay costs going up by more than those in Belgium's main neighbours and competitors. For the forthcoming two years the limit has been set at 6.4%.