In the Flemish and Brussels-Capital Regions, the new year also marks the definitive end of three former federal aid measures.
The abrogation will affect three aid measures, which were at the heart of federal policy and have been transferred to the regions since 2015: the target group reduction for young people, for long-term job-seekers and for workers made redundant as a result of restructuring.
A target group reduction is a reduction of the employer's social security contributions. The reduction for long-term job-seekers may have been linked to the activation of unemployment benefits - this activation is coupled to the reduction and is also abrogated.
These measures are being phased out in all regions, albeit with different timings. The Flemish and Brussels Regions are the first regions in which they will disappear completely. In the Walloon Region and the German-speaking Community, they are also being phased out, but the definitive abrogation is planned for a later date.
EMPLOYMENT IN THE FLEMISH REGION
Since 1 July 2016, the reduction for young people can no longer take effect, and since 1 January 2017 both other reductions are abrogated. For recruitments up to 30 June and 31 December 2016 respectively, the employer could use up the planned quarters with a reduction, however not later than 31 December 2018. As of 1 January 2019, these reductions can no longer be applied, even if in theory (e.g. based on the employee's work card) there would still be quarters left.
What took its place?
There is no similar Flemish reduction/activation that has been introduced for long-term jobseekers and workers made redundant during restructuring. The budget for these target groups will be used for new training and employment initiatives (dual learning, recruitment incentives for long-term job-seekers, Flemish training leave, Flemish support premium, etc.).
Since July 2016, young people have had their own Flemish target group reduction, which has been reinforced since 1 January 2019.
EMPLOYMENT IN THE BRUSSELS-CAPITAL REGION
Since 1 October 2017, these three reductions can no longer take effect. For recruitments up to 30 September 2017, the employer could use up the planned quarters with a reduction, however not later than 31 December 2018. As of 1 January 2019, these reductions can no longer be applied, even if in theory (e.g. based on the employee's work card) there would still be quarters left.
What took its place?
None of the three target groups has been replaced by a Brussels reduction. The budget for these target groups is used for new Brussels measures for the activation of unemployment benefits and for training grants.
NO ABROGATION OF THE ADDITIONAL RESTRUCTURING WORK BONUS
Employees made redundant as a result of restructuring may be entitled to an additional 'work bonus' from their next employer, i.e. an additional reduction in personal social security contributions. This measure remains federal, and thus continues to exist in the case of employment in all regions.