Corona crisis: support measure for the events sector

Author: Els Poelman (Legal Expert)
Date:

The events sector can avail of an additional reduction in employer contributions for the 2nd and 3rd quarter of 2021.

A temporary target group reduction

The reduction is intended to support employment in the events sector in the 2nd and 3rd quarter of 2021.

In terms of amount, it is the largest possible reduction: the entire basic employer contribution is exempted (25.00%).

Which employers?

Are covered by this support measure, employers that fall within the scope of the Act of 5 December 1968 with regard to the CBAs and Joint Committees and who:

  • come under the Joint Committee for the entertainment sector (JC 304)
  • or, have a main activity in the events sector corresponding to one of the following activities:
  • practising of performing arts
  • promotion and organisation of performing arts events
  • stage design and construction
  • specialised image, lighting and sound techniques
  • activities in support of the performing arts
  • practising of artistic creation
  • activities in support of artistic creation
  • exploitation of theatres, concert halls, music halls, cabarets and other performing arts facilities
  • exploitation of sound recording studios on behalf of third parties
  • management and exploitation of cultural centres and multifunctional rooms for cultural activities
  • organisation of conventions and trade shows
  • organisation of sporting events

Which employees?

The reduction is applicable to five employees in each of the quarters concerned.

Additional conditions

To guarantee entitlement to this reduction, the employer must simultaneously meet five additional conditions:

  1. Keep any employee for whom he applies the target group reduction in continuous employment between 1 April and 30 September 2021, except if that employee:
  • resigns
  • is dismissed due to urgent reasons
  • takes time credit/thematic leave

 

  1. Make a concrete and individual training offer to all employees in 2021

(whether or not in temporary unemployment, with or without the target group reduction). The offer must cover at least 5 full training days per full-time equivalent employee, i.e. a full-time employee working the full period. For part-time employees, the number of training days can be reduced proportionally to the contractual working time.

  1. Do not implement any of the following actions in 2021:
  • payment of dividends to shareholders
  • payment of bonuses to members of the Board of Directors and the company's management staff
  • purchase of own shares.
  1. Inform the works council (in the absence thereof, in decreasing order, the trade union delegation or the employees themselves) about the application of this measure in the company and the conditions to be complied with, in particular with regard to the training offer. The regulations also refer to consultation with the employees (and employees’ representatives): in practice this mainly concerns the organisation of the training.
  2. Guarantee that the temporary unemployment rate does not increase in the two quarters for which the reduction applies compared to the 1st quarter of 2021. In concrete terms: the sum of the days of temporary unemployment due to force majeure/corona and economic reasons (work codes 77 and 71 in the dmfa) may not exceed the sum of the days of temporary unemployment in the 2nd and 3rd quarter of 2021 respectively.

The fifth condition is likely to be verified automatically by the NSSO, after registration of the dmfa 2nd or 3rd quarter 2021. It is unclear for now how the first four conditions will be verified. We are waiting for an instruction from the NSSO.

 

Source: Act of 2 April 2021 on temporary support measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Belgian Official Gazette of 13 April 2021.

 

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