In order to increase the number of workers in the care and education sector or at employers operating a facility/centre in charge of contact tracing (to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus), temporarily unemployed persons and bridging pensioners have the possibility, under certain conditions, to resume work with these employers.
This temporary measure, initially scheduled to run until 31 March 2021 and extended until 30 September 2021, had to be extended again for the period from 1 January until 31 March 2022.
The legal text has not yet been published in the Official Belgian Gazette.
Which workers can benefit from this measure?
May resume work temporarily with a(n) (different) employer described above:
- Temporary unemployed persons;
- Unemployed persons receiving company allowance or bridging pensioners.
They will continue to receive their unemployment benefits during the resumption of work. However, these will be reduced by 1/4th.
For the unemployed receiving company allowance, the principles that were in force for the resumption of work in a vital sector also apply (refer to our infoflash of 7/05/2020).
Which sectors are concerned?
This measure applies to employers in the healthcare and education sectors and to employers operating a facility/centre in charge of contact tracing to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The healthcare sector is understood to mean: public and private services of care, reception and assistance to persons, the elderly, minors, disabled persons and vulnerable persons, including victims of intra-family violence.
As far as the private sector is concerned, these services or organisations belong to the following joint committees: 318, 319, 330, 331, 332 and 322 (on condition that the temporary agency worker is employed by a user company that belongs to one of the above-mentioned joint committees).
The definition of the "healthcare sector" was extended to public or private institutions or services in charge of the operation of vaccination centres in the context of combating the coronavirus and this for all activities directly or indirectly linked to the operation of the vaccination centre.
Sources: Bill containing various labour law measures in favour of care and education within the framework of the fight against the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, articles 9 and 10; Law of 20 December 2020 on temporary support measures in following the COVID-19 pandemic, articles 48 to 50, Belgian Official Gazette of 30.12.2020.