Overall assessment

AuthorNathalie Wuiame
12 Overall assessment
The following specific transposition problems were mentioned in this report:
- lack of implementing royal decrees for positive action in the public sector and to
cover access to and provision of goods and services;
- lack of implementation of a royal decree to allow services or goods p rovided only to
same-sex persons;
- protection against victimisation for witnesses must be formally adapted following the
ECJ ruling in case Hakelbracht C 404/18;
- full implementation of Article 15 of Directive 2006/54 through the ad option of a law
explicitly providing that a woman is entitled, upon her retu rn from maternity leave ,
to her job or to a post with terms a nd conditions that are not less favourable, and
should benefit from any improvement in working conditions to which she would have
been entitled during her absence.
Apart from the obvious gaps described above, in the view of the expert, the main
weaknesses of the transposition are the following:
- the unnecessary complication of the conc epts used in th e trio of anti -discrimination
laws adopted on 10 May 2007;
- the necessity for a victim of sexual harassment who is an employee to rely on the
Welfare at Work Act to the exclusion of the Gender Act of 10 May 2007, which would
grant her/him a better protection;
- the questionable effectiveness of the remedies available to victims;
- the uneasy coexistence of federal and federate legislation concerning matters
covered by EU law.
In the view of the expert, the following can be considered examples of p ositive
implementation that exceed the requirements of EU law:
- the provisions aimed at protecting pregnancy and maternity are regarded as a
condition for gender equality in employment;
- gender equality in statutory social security schemes also applies to family benefits
and survivor’s benefits;
- the whole statutory social security scheme for self -employed workers is also
applicable to assisting spouses or registered partners;
- education and media are not excluded from th e material scope of legis lation in the
context of gender equality in access to goods and services; and
- the Belgian federal legislation exceeds the EU requirements in relation to the equality
body: under its Institution Act of 16 December 2002, the Institute for the Equality of
Women and Men is authorised to initiate litigation in order to enforce the principle of
gender equality;
- the generous system of leaves for family related reasons offers great flexibility to
parents of children up to the age of 12.

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