Arbitration agreements or binding clauses are void or not. Workers may, at any time, bring a case before the labour courts. In recent years, since the economic crisis, the space for negotiations on wages has been very limited at national level and it has been difficult to reach an agreement with the three confederations on what is known as an inter-professional agreement (AIP/IAP). Negotiations at this level take place every two years and the biennial agreement for 2017-18, signed in January 2017, which provides for a wage cost of 1.1% in addition to the automatic indexation of wages associated with prices (see below), is the only one to have been agreed since the agreement for 2009-10. The national minimum wage was €1,593.81 gross per month in the first quarter of 2019. However, joint committees often set higher minimum wages in sectoral collective agreements. Negotiations at the national level take place within the framework of an official technical report containing this forecast and the government has the power to intervene if the two parties cannot agree on a figure within this limit. Collective agreements may cover all collective and individual labour law issues. These include working time, minimum wage, end-of-year bonuses, notice periods (for workers), flexible working time, night shifts, meal vouchers, outplacement procedures, early retirement and specific protection against termination of work, etc. [1] Professional life in Belgium by Jean Van Oycke and Guy Van Gyes, institution: Institute of Labour Sciences – UCL, Published on 27 July 2018 www.eurofound.europa.eu/country/belgium#collective-bargaining mandatory provisions on labour law generally replace the employment contract so as not to be mentioned in the agreement. .