More than 1 million people laid off due to the COVID-19 crisis

1,075 have been laid off as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Those that have been laid off temporarily are entitled to claim “temporary unemployment benefit” from the state. The system has existed for a long time now and allows businesses to cope in times of less demand for products and services. It is regularly employed in the building sector.  Applications have to be made via the state employment agency RVA.  Employees receive 70% of their gross salary with a ceiling of 2,754 euros.

According to figures from the Federal Employment Minister Nathalie Muylle (Flemish Christian democrat) the number of those claiming temporary employment benefit has increased by 400,000 in just 4 days.

The figures released by the Employment Minister show an increase of more than 1 million people that “temporarily unemployed. This is roughly a quarter of the entire number of people that are in work.

The system of temporary unemployment makes it possible for employers to temporarily reduce their staffing costs without having to make anyone redundant. Those that have been made temporarily unemployed receive a payment from the National Labour Office RVA.

At the beginning of the month there were just 1,700 people that were temporarily unemployed. By last Friday this number had risen to 670,000 and according to the latest figures it now stands at more than a million.

Those on temporary unemployment benefit can expect to receive between 1,000 and 1,500 euro net. However, as all the level needs to be calculated on a case by case basis and given the sudden huge growth in the number of people entitled to claim temporary unemployment benefit, the Employment Minister has said that everyone will be given 1,450 euro/month awaiting a correct calculation of what they are entitled to. 

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