Coronavirus: state of affairs on temporary unemployment

Author: Els Poelman (Legal Expert)
Date:

We already informed you about the new simple "corona procedure” laid down by the Council of Ministers of 20 March.  The recently published instructions of the ONEm/RVA make the procedure even more easy: for the employer, the procedure is limited to the monthly declaration of the unemployment days. A new state of affairs.

Temporary unemployment due to the corona crisis is by definition considered as temporary unemployment due to force majeure for the period from 13 March to 5 April 2020, and until 30 June 2020 if the emergency state is prolonged by the government.

During this period, the procedure is relaxed as much as possible for both manual and non-manual workers:

  • The obligation to submit an electronic application for temporary unemployment is abolished;
  • The payment bodies will reimburse the employee according to the favourable rules for unemployment due to force majeure corona on the basis of the notification force majeure corona in the DRS/ASR scenario 5 (WECH005). In this case it will not be checked whether an electronic declaration of temporary unemployment has been submitted. If a declaration for economic reasons was submitted, it shall automatically be converted to unemployment due to force majeure;
  • The obligation to issue control cards (C3.2A and C3.2A-S) is abolished for the months of March, April, May and June for all forms of temporary unemployment (including ordinary economic unemployment non-corona);
  • The obligation to fill in the validation book is abolished for the months of March, April, May and June for all forms of temporary unemployment (including ordinary economic unemployment non-corona);
  • The DRS/ASR benefit application scenario 2 (DRS/ASR WECH002) is no longer mandatory;
  • Force majeure due to corona is accepted on the basis of the monthly DRS/ASR Scenario 5 (WECH005), provided that the days of unemployment are indicated as force majeure and "corona" is given as reason for the unemployment; 
  • The authorities ask to submit the DRS/ASR WECH scenario 5 for March as soon as possible so that the payment bodies can quickly start up the file and pay out the advance promised by the government. This means that employers must send their pay instructions for March 2020 to their payroll office as soon as possible;
  • The worker must submit the new form C3.2.-WORKER-CORONA to his payment body (available on the websites of the payment bodies).

The ONEm/RVA pays a supplement of €5.63 per day in case of temporary unemployment due to force majeure corona.

Unemployment days for temporary unemployment due to force majeure in the period from 2 February 2020 (the starting date is advanced) to 30 June 2020 shall be assimilated when it comes to annual leave. A separate royal decree will regulate this assimilation.