In order to ensure the proper organization of work during the COVID-19 pandemic, the law of 20 December 2020 authorizes, in certain sectors and under certain conditions, the conclusion of successive fixed-term employment contracts.
If the employer and the employee have concluded several successive fixed-term employment contracts, they are deemed to have concluded an employment contract for an indefinite period, unless the law of 3 July 1978 relating to employment contracts provides otherwise.
“Covid-19 - support measure” derogation
The law of 20 December 2020 provides for a new derogation from this rule.
Successive fixed-term employment contracts may in fact be concluded between the same parties without them being considered as an employment contract for an indefinite period if the following conditions are met:
- the employer belongs to the care or education sector or operates a facility/centre in charge of contact tracing to limit the spread of COVID-19;
Note - ‘Care sector’ is understood to mean the services of care, reception and assistance to persons, the elderly, minors, disabled persons and vulnerable persons, including victims of intra-family violence, whether public or private (joint committees No. 318, 319, 330, 331, 332, 322 if the temporary worker is employed by a user who is a member of one of the above-mentioned joint committees).
- the employee is temporarily unemployed with an employer other than the one concluding the fixed-term employment contract ;
- the duration of each employment contract is at least 7 calendar days;
- the successive fixed-term contracts are concluded during the period from 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021.
The employee has the right to terminate these employment contracts without notice.
Please note! The validity conditions of the fixed-term employment contract have not been changed (obligatory writing established at the latest at the time of the employee's entry into service, etc.).
Source: Act of 20 December 2020 on temporary support measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Belgian Official Gazette of 30 December 2020.