Insights & news

Unemployment due to force majeure | Practical questions

  • 06/04/2020
  • Articles

The Government recently decided that all employers facing economic difficulties due to the Covid-19 crisis may rely on the regime of temporary unemployment due to force majeure for their employees (See, our previous newsflashes of 10 March and 19 March 2020. 

In addition, the regime has been simplified so that the employer only needs to submit an electronic declaration to the authorities and the employees subsequently must fill out their personal details via an online form in order to receive payment of the unemployment benefits.

Under this regime the employees are entitled to (i) unemployment benefits capped at 70% of their normal gross monthly salary (which in turn is capped at EUR 2,754.76 gross), and (ii) a supplement of EUR 5.63 paid by the Belgian authorities per unemployment day. 

Many employers have availed themselves of  his regime  but many practical questions remain, such as:

  • Can the employer supplement the unemployment benefits of the employees and are such supplements subject to social security contributions?
  • Is the employer legally required to pay the bank holidays which fall within the period of temporary unemployment?
  • What if an employee becomes ill during a period of temporary unemployment? Is he entitled to a guaranteed salary during such period of illness?
  • Will the simplified regime of temporary unemployment due to force majeure be extended automatically if the lockdown measures of the Government are extended as well?
  • Can an employer oblige his employees to take up all their vacation days prior to the application of the regime of temporary unemployment?

VBB would be pleased to assist you with any questions related to the regime of temporary unemployment due to force majeure or any other questions you may have related to the employment law measures that the Government has adopted in the framework of the Covid-19 crisis.

Feel free to reach out to us by clicking on the following link: Covid19Helpline

Key contacts

Related practice areas

Related insights

Sign up for updates
    • 20/07/2020
    • Articles

    Extension of the possibility to apply temporary unemployment due to Covid-19 force majeure

    On 17 July 2020, a Royal Decree was published in the Belgian Official Journal (Koninklijk besluit tot verlenging van de maatregelen genomen op vlak van werkloosheid in het kader van de strijd tegen de verspreiding van het coronavirus Covid-19 / Arrêté royal prolongeant les mesures prises en matière de chômage dans le cadre de la lutte contre la propagation du coronavirus Covid-19) in order to extend the possibility to apply temporary unemployment due to Covid-19 force majeure (i) until 31 August 2020 included for all companies and (ii) until 31 December 2020 included for “companies and sectors particularly affected by the corona crisis”, namely:

    Read more
    • 20/07/2020
    • Newsletters

    VBB on Belgian Business Law, Volume 2020, No. 6

    The June 2020 issue of our Belgian Business Law newsletter reporting on the latest developments in a range of areas, including competition, data protection, intellectual property and labour law.

    Read more
    • 01/07/2020
    • News

    Suspension of the notice period during temporary unemployment due to Covid-19 force majeure

    On 22 June 2020, the law aiming to suspend notice periods notified by the employer before or during temporary unemployment due to Covid-19 force majeure (Wet tot opschorting van de opzeggingstermijn voor ontslagen gegeven voor of tijdens de periode van tijdelijke schorsing van de uitvoering van de arbeidsovereenkomst omwille van overmacht ingevolge de COVID-19-crisis / Loi visant à suspendre les délais de préavis des congés donnés avant ou durant la période de suspension temporaire de l’exécution du contrat de travail pour cause de force majeure en raison de la crise du COVID-19) was published in the Belgian Official Journal (the Law).

    Read more

Subscribe to our updates

Please select the practice areas you are interested in: *