End of temporary unemployment corona/Ukraine: rules for economic unemployment from 1 July 2022

Author: Catherine Mairy (Legal expert)
Date:

The temporary unemployment schemes ‘corona’ and ‘war in Ukraine’ will not be extended beyond 30 June 2022.

If, after that date, it is temporarily impossible to maintain the existing work rhythm in the company due to economic causes, the employer still has the possibility to resort to temporary unemployment due to lack of work for economic causes.

In principle, the introduction of this type of unemployment requires compliance with specific conditions and strict procedures.

However, certain relaxations were temporarily made in this area. 

The ONEm/RVA provides more details on these adjustments in its instructions.

Below is a summary.

Economic unemployment for manual workers

Relaxations until 31 December 2022

These are the relaxations:

  • the employer must send the prior notification to the ONEm/RVA at least 3 calendar days before the 1st planned day of unemployment (instead of the usual 7 calendar days); this relaxation applies from 1 June 2022;

Note - If a shorter notification period is provided for by Royal Decree for a sector, this derogation period must be applied.

  • the employer must inform the manual workers and the works council/trade union delegation of the introduction of unemployment at least 3 calendar days before the 1st planned day of unemployment (instead of the usual 7 calendar days); this relaxation applies from 1 June 2022;
  • the employer must only perform a Social Risk Declaration scenario 5 at the end of the month (code nature of day: code 5.1);
  • the employer does not have to issue a check form C3.2A to the unemployed manual worker or complete the validation book ;
  • the manual worker does not have to demonstrate a certain professional history; he will receive unemployment benefits corresponding to 65% of the limited wage (€3,014.78 per month);
  • in case of the scheme of complete suspension, the mandatory working week can be set in a flexible way; see examples at www.onem.be.

Enforcement of the other rules (classic rules)

The maximum allowable duration of unemployment remains unchanged.

The employer remains obliged (where appropriate, in the required forms and by the required time):

  • not to place a manual worker who is entitled to certain days of compensatory rest on unemployment;
  • not to outsource to third parties the work that should normally have been carried out by the manual workers during unemployment;
  • to communicate the first actual day of unemployment of the month to the ONEm/RVA (in principle, on the first day of unemployment);
  • to pay to the manual worker placed on unemployment a supplement on top of the unemployment benefits (unless there are derogations);
  • etc.

Economic unemployment for non-manual workers

Relaxations until 31 December 2022

These are the relaxations:

  • the employer may use form C106A-REGIME TRANSITOIRE/OVERGANGSREGELING (= new form); this form must be sent:
    • by registered mail or by e-mail,
    • to the relevant ONEm/RVA office or the FPS Employment, depending on whether the employer invokes a collective labour agreement or a company plan,
    • at least 14 days before the first notification 'suspension of non-manual workers due to lack of work' (i.e., at least 14 days before the prior notification);
  • to prove that the company is in difficulty, the employer may:
    • if he invokes a substantial decrease of at least 10% in turnover, production or orders, compare the decrease in one of the 4 quarters preceding the application for the introduction of the unemployment scheme to the corresponding quarter in 2019 (and not only to the corresponding quarter of the last 2 calendar years); see the form C106A-REGIME TRANSITOIRE/OVERGANGSREGELING;
    • if he invokes at least 10% temporary unemployment in the NSSO quarter before sending the form C106A (C106A-REGIME TRANSITOIRE/OVERGANGSREGELING), take into account the days of temporary unemployment due to force majeure ‘corona’ or ‘war in Ukraine’, DMFA days code 77 (and not only the days of economic unemployment for manual workers, DMFA days code 71); see the form C106A-REGIME TRANSITOIRE/OVERGANGSREGELING;
  • the employer can send the prior notification to the ONEm/RVA as soon as the ONEm/RVA informs him that the preliminary conditions have been accepted; however, this notice must be sent at least 3 calendar days before the first planned day of unemployment (instead of the usual 7 calendar days); this relaxation applies as of 1 June 2022;
  • the employer must inform the non-manual workers and the works council/trade union delegation of the introduction of unemployment at least 3 calendar days before the 1st planned day of unemployment (instead of the usual 7 calendar days); this relaxation applies from 1 June 2022;
  • for the purpose of using up the annual credit of 16 calendar weeks (full suspension) or 26 calendar weeks (partial employment scheme), the days of temporary unemployment due to force majeure located before 1 July 2022 shall not be taken into account;
  • the employer must only perform a Social Risk Declaration scenario 5 at the end of the month (code nature of day: code 5.1);
  • the employer does not have to issue a check form C3.2A to the unemployed non-manual worker or complete the validation book;
  • the non-manual worker does not have to demonstrate a certain professional history; he will receive unemployment benefits corresponding to 65% of the limited wage (€3,014.78 per month).

Enforcement of the other rules (classic rules)

The company in difficulty must also be bound by a collective labour agreement or by a company plan.

The maximum allowable duration of unemployment remains unchanged.

The employer remains obliged (where appropriate, in the required forms and by the required time):

  • not to place a non-manual worker who is entitled to certain days of compensatory rest on unemployment;
  • not to outsource to third parties the work that should normally have been carried out by the non-manual workers during unemployment;
  • to send a copy of the notification to the works council/trade union delegation on the day the form C106A-REGIME TRANSITOIRE/OVERGANGSREGELING or form C106A is sent;
  • to communicate the first actual day of unemployment of the month to the ONEm/RVA (in principle, on the first day of unemployment);
  • to pay to the non-manual worker placed on unemployment the supplement on top of the unemployment benefits (unless there are derogations);
  • etc.

Do you have any questions about the introduction of economic unemployment in your company? Please contact our Legal Partners via legalpartners@partena.be.

Source: www.onem.be.

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