COVID-19: new Belgian support measures

In the scope of the current COVID-19 crisis, the Belgian government approved some new support measures in July.

In view of the frequency of these governmental decisions, we wish to emphasize that this newsletter reflects the state of affairs on August 6, 2020.
We will of course inform you when further measures are taken.


Simplification of the recognition as company in difficulty or in restructuring

Companies can more easily obtain a recognition as a company in difficulty or in restructuring. With this recognition, companies can obtain additional support measures like reduction of working time, corona time credit and corona landing position (see below).

The motivated application for this request must be submitted to the Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue.

! Only companies who file their annual accounts with the National Bank of Belgium can apply for the recognition as a company in difficulty.

If you want to be recognized as a company in difficulty in order to apply for one of the measures below, you can contact our legal department via legal@pro-pay.be.


Reduction of working time

As of July 1, 2020, companies that are recognized as a company in difficulty or in restructuring, have the possibility to temporarily reduce the working time of their employees.

The working hours must be reduced with one fourth or one fifth through the procedure of a modification of the working regulations / conclusion of a collective labour agreement in the company. The employer can also introduce a four-day working week.

Employers that are using this measure can benefit from a flat-rate reduction of social security contributions. The precise amount depends on the percentage of the adjustment of the working time.

Employees are entitled to a partial salary compensation to be borne by the employer during this temporary working time reduction.

Full-time employees whose working time is reduced, remain full-time employees in view of employment law and social security rights.


Corona time credit and corona landing position

Employees who are employed by a company that is recognized as a company in difficulty or in restructuring, can:

  • Take corona time credit. This is a new form of time credit which exists in addition to the regular time credit. Periods of this corona time credit will therefore not be deducted from the maximum duration of the regular time credit. The concerned employees can reduce their working time by half or by 20%.
  • Take a corona landing position provided that they are at least 55 years old and have a professional career of at least 25 years. This way, older employees can reduce their working time by half or by 20%.

Employees will receive the normal allowances for time credit or landing position provided they meet all the conditions. Therefore, there is no increased benefit such as for the corona parental leave.

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