Energy crisis: extension of raised thresholds for the exemption from attachment of earnings

Author: Laurence Philippe (Legal Expert)
Date:

In order to mitigate the impact of the energy crisis, the thresholds for the exemption from attachment of earnings were raised from 3 November to 31 December 2022. As a result, employees will retain a larger part of their wages. This increase in the thresholds applies to both attachments and assignments.

The raised thresholds are extended to the first quarter of 2023 and the raise is increased from 20% to 30% of the thresholds that apply in 2022.

 

Reminder, the creditor who is seeking to obtain payment of the amounts due to him by his debtor may apply directly to his employer. This right is exercised mainly in two ways: either in the form of an attachment, either in the form of an assignment.

The attachment or the assignment shall be applied to the employee's net earnings, i.e. after the deduction of the social security contributions, withholding tax and other deductions (if any) intended to guarantee an additional social security benefit, with the exclusion of any other amount or deduction.

Moreover, it is true that only a part of these net earnings can be assigned or attached since the legislation has established income brackets within which the amount is liable to assignment or attachment. This is called the assignable or attachable amount of the earnings. The calculation of these amounts varies according to whether it regards an occupational income or a replacement income.

Moreover, the employee is entitled to an exemption if he has (a) dependant child(ren). This exemption shall be granted in the form of a reduction of the assignable or attachable amount.

From 1 January until 31 March 2023, the amounts (or income thresholds) for the calculation of the attachable or assignable portion are determined as follows:

Net monthly earnings

Attachable or assignable portion

.

occupational income

(employees or self-employed persons)

replacement income

Up to 1,542€

Nothing

Nothing

From 1,542.01€ to 1,657€

20 % of the amount between these 2 values, being 23.00€

20 % of the amount between these 2 values, being 23.00€

From 1,657.01€ to 1,828€

30% of the amount between these 2 values, being 51.30€

40 % of the amount between these 2 values, being €68,40€

From 1,828.01€ to 2,000€

40 % of the amount between these 2 values, being 68.80€

40 % of the amount between these 2 values, being 68,80€

Over 2,000€

The full amount is assignable or attachable.

The full amount is assignable or attachable.

The exemption for (a) dependant child(ren) has been raised to € 95.

Here you will find the thresholds applicable in 2023, outside this period.

Reminder: there is no limit if the attachment or the assignment is the result of a claim for payment of maintenance allowances or a claim for payment of the wages in application of article 221 of the Civil Code (assignment of earnings). The above mentioned income brackets are therefore not applicable in this case. The full amount of the employee's earnings shall be assignable or attachable. Furthermore, in that case the attachment or assignment has absolute priority over all other attachments or assignments (if any).

Source: Act of 30 October 2022 on temporary support measures due to the energy crisis, Belgian Official Gazette of 3 November 2022;

Draft Royal Decree extending articles 66 to 74 of the Act of 30 October 2022 on temporary support measures due to the energy crisis, Council of Ministers of 16 December 2022.

 

 

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