The Board of Directors of Proximus decides unanimously to start the implementation of the transformation plan
Today, Proximus' transformation plan, about which negotiations have been conducted for a number of months now, was submitted to the Joint Labor Committee for approval.
The Board of Directors remains convinced that this transformation plan is essential for Proximus. Proximus needs to speed up its digital transformation to safeguard the future of the company, continue to invest in the networks of the future and respond to the needs of its customers. In its meeting on Wednesday 27 November, the Board of Directors was able to assess the evolution of the plan, which was achieved thanks to the negotiations with the trade union organizations under the direction of the social mediators. The Board of Directors has noted the decision of the majority of the trade union organizations not to approve the plan that was submitted to the Joint Labor Committee, despite lengthy negotiations and took into account their concerns.
In this context, the Board of Directors has decided unanimously to proceed with the transformation plan without affecting the framework of the 1991 law and in accordance with the procedures provided for in the applicable social legislation. This will allow all employees to be informed individually in order to put an end to the uncertainty that is currently being felt within the company.
However, the Board of Directors encourages the initiative of the management to continue to consult with the trade unions, in a spirit of openness, as of tomorrow in order to examine whether certain elements in the implementation of the plan can still be changed. The Board of Directors has asked that an additional Joint Committee meeting be convened on 9 December, and the analysis of those discussions will be put on the agenda of the Board of Directors' meeting of 12 December.
During the past months solutions were found that considerably limit the transformation plan's impact on the employees in the fields of activity concerned. This is also the result of the last consultation with the concerned trade union organizations. Indeed, 1300 functions are still impacted today, a significant reduction compared to the 1900 announced in January. Various solutions are provided to reduce the number of redundancies to a minimum, such as:
- Restriction of external recruitments to offer internal career redirection opportunities
- Focus on internal retraining tracks and new internal vacancies
- An attractive scheme for voluntary departures
- The possibility to opt for the existing "58+" plan
The Board of Directors emphasizes that no statutory employee should leave the company on a non-voluntary basis. For contractual employees who will leave the company on a non-voluntary basis, accompanying measures have been defined:
- A guaranteed period of six months in which these employees are given the opportunity to find another job within the company
- A guaranteed outplacement track
- Help with career redirection in the form of workshops specifically targeted at the employment market, a job platform with vacancies and training budgets
- Individual HR support
With an eye to the future, the company has also committed to considerably increase investments in training, and a number of measures have been taken in connection with the end-of-career policy for its other employees aged 58 and over.
The Board of Directors is well aware that this plan has an impact on the future of many employees and trusts management to focus its efforts in the coming months on providing guidance and support to these employees.