Traliant Resources


Equal Employment Opportunity


Please review the information below and then return to the workplace harassment prevention course.

Harassment and discrimination based on a protected characteristic are prohibited under national law. National law also provides employees protection from bullying.

Applicable Laws

The primary national laws prohibiting employment discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of any protected characteristic are:

  • Act of 10 May 2007 to combat certain forms of discrimination
  • Act of 10 May 2007 to combat discrimination between women and men
  • Act of 30 July 1981 to punish certain acts motivated by racism or xenophobia

The Employee Welfare Act of 4 August 1996 prohibits violence, moral harassment (including bullying) and sexual harassment in the workplace.

The Social Penal Code provides for criminal penalties in connection with workplace violence, bullying or sexual harassment.

Protected Characteristics

Harassment or discrimination based on any characteristic set forth below is prohibited in Belgium.

  • Age
  • Race or colour
  • Nationality
  • Descent or national or ethnic origin
  • Language
  • Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, maternity, sex reassignment, gender identity and gender expression)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religious or philosophical conviction
  • Political conviction
  • Trade union conviction
  • Current or future state of health
  • Disability
  • Physical or genetic characteristic
  • Social origin
  • Civil status
  • Birth
  • Wealth

Regional, state or other political subdivision laws may provide additional, separate standards and remedies for certain prohibited conduct.


Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as any undesired verbal, non-verbal or bodily behaviour with a sexual connotation whose effect is to harm the dignity of the person or create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

Moral harassment

Moral harassment is defined as an abusive series of:

  • multiple similar or divergent behaviours;
  • external or internal to the company or institution;
  • that occur during a certain period;
  • during the performance of the work;

and whose aim or effect is:

  • to harm the personality, dignity or physical or mental integrity of a person;
    to endanger the person’s employment; or
  • to create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

Filing a Claim in Belgium

A claim for employment discrimination or harassment based on a protected characteristic may be filed with the Social Legislation Inspectorate.

Employees who believe they are being harassed may follow an internal grievance procedure with their employer or pursue a variety of external procedures, including bringing the matter to an Employment Tribunal.

Potential Remedies

In Belgium, an employee who has experienced discrimination on the basis of a protected characteristic may be entitled to lump-sum compensation for a fixed period or compensation for actual damage suffered. An employer may be required to take certain actions to correct or redress discrimination or violations of workplace safety standards. 

Retaliation Prohibited

Employer retaliation against an employee who files a complaint relating to discrimination or harassment or is involved in the complaint process is unlawful.