New rules on temporary unemployment as of 1 September 2020: start making preparations now
From 1 September 2020, new rules on temporary unemployment will enter into force.
Companies and sectors that are substantially impacted by the Covid-19 crisis can continue to apply the current and simplified ‘Covid-19 force majeure’ temporary unemployment regime until 31 December 2020. The list of in-scope sectors is yet to be determined by the Minister of Work. Companies that are substantially impacted by the Covid-19 crisis are companies with a number of unemployment days based on economic reasons or based on “Covid-19 force majeure” in the second quarter of 2020 of at least 20% of the total number of working days declared to the NSSO.
However, to benefit from such continued use, these employers must send a new C106A-Corona-HGO/EPT form by e-mail to the National Employment Office (RVA/Onem) and await a positive decision from the latter. As it can take up to 2 weeks for the RVA/Onem to notify the employer of its positive decision, it is highly recommended to send this form asap (by 17 August 2020 at the latest) in order to continue to use the system as from 1 September 2020.
For sectors and companies that are not substantially impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, the current ‘Covid-19 force majeure’ regime can no longer be applied as of 1 September 2020. However, for these companies, the government has introduced a transitional unemployment regime based on economic reasons for the period of 1 September until 31 December 2020.
To benefit from this transitional regime for white-collar workers, the employer must be faced with a substantial decrease of at least 10% of its turnover or production. Moreover, the employer must offer 2 training days per month to its impacted white-collar workers.
Employers that would like to appeal to this transitional regime with extended maximum period during which the employer can rely on temporary unemployment should also start preparing now. Amongst other things, a new form C106A-Corona-transitional regime (Overgangsstelsel/Régime transitoire) must be sent to the RVA/Onem by registered letter and by e-mail 14 days in advance. Moreover, in the absence of any collective bargaining agreement, a company plan must be drafted.
ALTIUS’ Employment Team is of course at your service to assist you on this and to provide you with more detailed advice tailored to your company.
The reformed recognition procedure for dock workers… the end of a legal battle?
A new Royal Decree of 21 December 2022 substantially changes the recognition procedure for dock workers. This Royal Decree was issued in the aftermath of a long-standing legal battle initiated by two major players in the sector that challenged the very specific Belgian legislation on dock workers. Although the principle that dock work can only be carried out by recognised dock workers fully remains in place, the application process to become a recognised dock worker should now become (more) objective, non-discriminatory and transparent.Read on
Abolition of the reorientation indemnity’s (partial) reimbursement: a (significant) additional cost for employers conducting a collective lay-off
Employees terminated in the frame of a collective lay-off may participate in a redeployment cell, which helps them to find new employment. Any participating employee is entitled to a monthly reorientation indemnity equal to his/her salary inclusive benefits during a period of 3 or 6 months. The employer pays the reorientation indemnity. Until very recently, an employer could obtain a reimbursement from the unemployment office (“RVA”/“Onem”) for the amount of the reorientation indemnity exceeding the statutory indemnity in lieu of notice.Read on
Draft Belgian Whistleblowing Act now adopted in Parliament!
The draft Belgian Act on whistleblowing for the private sector, which transposes EU Directive 2019/1937 (‘the Whistleblowing Directive’) into national legislation, has finally been adopted in Parliament. The Act still has to be published in the Belgian State Gazette and will enter into force 2 months after its publication.Read on