Andreas Glöckner via Pixabay

Federal Parliament approves measures to make unemployment benefit more accessible to people working in the cultural sector

On Thursday night the Chamber of Representatives voted to approve measures that will make it easier for artists and technicians employed in the cultural sector to claim unemployment benefit if they become out of work. The measures are temporary and will remain in force until the end of the year. The cultural sector has been hit particularly hard by the measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

The measures approved on Thursday night came from the Francophone socialists and Flemish and Francophone greens. Under the measures artists and theatre technicians that can prove that they were involved in at least 10 performance or worked at least 20 days in the cultural sector during 2019 will be given access to unemployment benefit. The level of benefit will not be reduced when the artist or technician in question receives royalties or other income related to his/her involvement in past performances.

The measures received near-cross party support with only the Flemish nationalist party N-VA voting against. The party says that it MPs did so as the measures constitute “preferential treatment”.

The Flemish Liberals and far-right Vlaams Belang supported the measures as they are only temporary. The Flemish Christian democrats had wanted to amend the measures, but failed to receive support from any other parties to do so. They abstained when the measures were put to a vote. 

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