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19 August 2020
From 1 September 2020, new rules on temporary unemployment will enter into force.
Companies and sectors that are substantially affected 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 has yet to be determined by the minister of work. In-scope companies are companies which had a number of unemployment days based on economic reasons or COVID-19 force majeure in the second quarter of 2020 totalling at least 20% of the total number of working days declared to the National Social Security Office.
However, to benefit from such continued use, employers must email a new C106A-Corona-HGO/EPT form to the National Employment Office (RVA/Onem) and await a positive decision from the latter. As it can take up to two weeks for the RVA/Onem to notify employers of its positive decision, employers should send this form as soon as possible in order to continue to use the system from 1 September 2020.
For sectors and companies that are not substantially affected by the COVID-19 crisis, the current COVID-19 force majeure regime can no longer be applied from 1 September 2020. Upon their choice, such companies can either use the classic system of temporary unemployment for economic reasons or call on a new light version thereof, which has been introduced by the government as a transitory measure for the period of 1 September 2020 until 31 December 2020.
To benefit from this transitional regime for white collar workers, employers must be faced with a substantial reduction of at least 10% of their turnover or production. Moreover, employers must offer two training days per month to affected white collar workers.
Employers that wish to appeal this transitional regime with an extended maximum period during which they can rely on temporary unemployment should start preparing now. Among other things, a new form C106A-Corona-transitional regime must be sent to the RVA/Onem by registered mail and email 14 days in advance. Moreover, in the absence of any collective bargaining agreement, a company plan must be drafted.
For further information on this topic please contact Phillipe De Wulf or Esther Soetens at ALTIUS by telephone (+32 2 426 1414) or email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). The ALTIUS website can be accessed at www.altius.com.
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