Federal Government announces measures offering extra support to help us through the coronavirus crisis

The Federal Government has announced several new measures to help the health care system, businesses, those that have been laid off and vulnerable groups through the coronavirus crisis. The measures were announced at a press conference that followed a meeting of the Consultative Committee that is made up of representatives of Belgium’s federal, regional and language community governments on Friday morning. 

At the press conference the Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Flemish socialist) announced that 200 million euro in additional funding is to be given to pay hospital staff.  

In addition to the new support measures, the existing measures will be extended, the Federal Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Flemish liberal) announced. The Health Minister’s announcement of a one-off 200-million-euro payment to the country’s hospitals to “show how we value and respect” hospital staff was one of the most note-worthy measures announced at the press conference. It will be up to management and unions to decided how the cash can best be spent.

In addition to the extension of the measures already in force to help businesses through the crisis, such as the deferral of loan repayments, the Federal Government also announced a plan to offer support to companies whose employees that are currently being obliged to work from home. Stress and burn out coaches will be provided as will training for line managers on how to manage their while they are working from home. There will also be changes to civil service selection procedures so that new civil servants can go through the procedures without having to attend in person. 

Help for firms

To help companies through the crisis the Federal Government is extending existing measures such as temporary unemployment due to force majeure. In addition to this the Federal Government has announced that it will partially fund holiday pay for those on temporary unemployment and the exemption from employers’ social security contribution during the 3rd quarter will be extended to other sectors of the economy that have been forced to closed in addition to the hospitality and events sectors.

Meanwhile, the self-employed that work in sectors of the economy that have been forced to close will be able to get some income to keep the wolf from the door thanks to the so-called “crisis bridging payment”. A new system will be brought in from January.  

The final date at which they must pay their corporation tax has been put back from 31 October to 31 December. 

Task force for vulnerable groups

The Federal Government also announced the setting up of a task force for vulnerable groups. 75 million euro is being given to measures to help the most vulnerable in our society through the current crisis. 

Top stories