Information is continuing to emerge on COVID-19 and the resulting legislative changes being instituted in Belgium. We have compiled a list of important updates for Belgian employers to be aware of. Our teams are closely monitoring the situation and will continue to provide the latest updates to keep you informed.
COVID-19 Updates - Belgium
Last Updated – March 23, 2020
Employees unable to work due to the impact of COVID-19 can apply for temporary unemployment benefits on the grounds of force majeure. Employees receiving temporary unemployment will be paid up to 70% of their regular monthly salary. The maximum monthly unemployment payment is € 2,754.76. Employees interested in applying for temporary unemployment must complete and submit this form.
Suspension of Work
Employers in certain industries have the ability suspend the work of their employees under the context of force majeure. Employers are not required to provide salary during the suspension of work. Employees experiencing suspension of work are able to apply for unemployment allowances.
Employers are not generally permitted to suspend work on account of a reduction of work volume, although exceptions exist if work is suspended on the grounds of “economic unemployment”. Employees will likely be entitled to unemployment allowances if they experience suspension of work under this scenario.
High Risk Employees
Employers can request that employees continue to come into work, as they are obligated to under contract. Employees considered high risk (i.e. 60 years or older, suffer from health conditions) may be exempt from this requirement. High risk employees will likely be granted the opportunity to work from home. Those unable to do so will not be provided a salary, but will be entitled to unemployment allowances (under force majeure), pending telephone evaluation from a physician.