System of temporary unemployment due to corona to be extended

The Federal Economy Minister Nathalie Muylle (Flemish Christian democrat, photo above) has announced that, under certain conditions the system of temporary unemployment for those working in businesses that have been severely impacted by the coronavirus crisis will remain in place until the end of the year. The system is similar to the “furlough” system that has been used by the government in the United Kingdom.  

It was first introduced at the start of the lockdown in March. Those on temporary unemployment receive a payment that is equal to 70% of their gross salary. 

The system of temporary unemployment was brought in to try and prevent people from losing their jobs permanently and to prevent businesses from going under as a result of the coronavirus crisis. It was originally meant to run until 30 June, but was later extended until 31 August. 

Now as expected employers that can prove that at least 20% of their staff were laid off between April and June will be able to continue to lay off staff under the regime of temporary unemployment until the end of the year. Businesses in sectors of the economy whose activities are still restricted due to the measures designed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus will also be able to continue to lay off staff under the system. These include coach companies, the tourism industry, aviation, fairgrounds and the wellness and the events industries. 

Companies that are not covered by this will have to switch to the standard system of temporary unemployment for economic reasons if they wish to continue to temporarily lay off their staff. They will be able to do this proving that they can prove that their turnover has fallen by at least 10% compared with last year. 

 

 

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