What’s changed on 1 May?

As at the start of each new month 1 May has brought with it a number of changes that will affect us in our everyday lives. Flandersnews.be provides to with a summary of the new measures that come into force from today. In future self-employed fathers will be entitled to ten days parental leave. The rules governing corporations in Belgium have undergone significant changes and the powers of the police in Antwerp have been increased.  

Ten days parental leave for self-employed fathers

New rules on parental leave mean that all fathers now have the right to take up to 10 days parental leave. The leave can be taken with in the first four months after the birth of a child. The new rules apply both to biological fathers or fathers whose partner has given birth to a child or is the biological father of a baby that they both care for. Those taking parental leave will be entitled to a payment of 79 euro/day. This is the same as the payment given to mothers on maternity leave.    

The 10 days can also be taken as half days if a father so wishes.

If a self-employed father wishes he can take 8 days paternity leave and request 15 so-called “service cheques”, vouchers that are used to pay for household chores such as cleaning or ironing. The new measures are estimated to cost around 1 million euro/annum.    

Possible to set up a corporation without capital

The rules on corporations in Belgium have undergone a radical reform. A central plank of the reforms is a big a reduction in the number of difference forms in which a corporation can take (from 17 to 4). In future it will also be possible to set up a business without any starting capital. Instead entrepreneurs will have to provide a more detailed financial plan that shows that a corporation that is starting out has “sufficient assets to start up”.    

The new rules also apply to not-for-profit groups, foundations and associations.  

In order to reward loyal shareholders and to protect them from hostile takeovers, companies that are stock market listed can double their number of votes. For example someone with 10 shares that had been a shareholder for many years vote have 20 votes. Meanwhile, non-stock market listed company will be able to give their loyal shareholders multiple voting rights.   

Existing corporations will be able to opt-in to the new system from 1 January 2020. They will be required to have change their statutes before 1 January 2020.   

Antwerp police will be able to confiscate cars

From now on the Antwerp Local Police Service will be able to confiscate vehicles for up to six months without the intervention of the Judicial Authorities. The City Authorities hope that this will serve as a deterrent to street racers and other that behave in aan anti-social fashion when driving.  

The Mayor will decided how long a vehicle will remain confiscated. The costs of towing away and storing the car will be paid by the errant motorist.  

This is not the first time that a municipal authority has used its powers in this way. Preciously the City of Mechelen (Antwerp province) confiscated the vehicles of those guilt of repeated anti-social behaviour when driving.   

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