The Flemish recruitment incentive for long-term job-seekers: from 2022 also for 56 and 57-year-olds

Author: Els Poelman (Legal Expert)
Read time: 4min
Publication date: 30/11/2021 - 16:18
Latest update: 30/11/2021 - 16:22

The maximum age for the recruitment incentive will be increased from 55 to 57 years from 2022, to compensate for the Flemish target group reduction for older workers.


After the abolition of the Activa Plan in 2017, there was no longer any direct support for the recruitment of long-term job-seekers in the Flemish Region. This is why the "recruitment incentive" was introduced:  a lump-sum premium paid to the employer who hires a long-term job-seeker.

The recruitment incentive is intended for the age group between the target group reduction for low-skilled young people (up to 25 years) and the recruitment reduction for older workers (increased to 58 years since 1 January 2020). Since 2020, 56 and 57 year olds were not covered by any support measure, and this is now being resolved by adding that age group to the target group for the recruitment incentive.  

Conditions for recruitment as from 1 January 2022

The Flemish Region pays a recruitment incentive for every newly-hired employee who:

  • is at least 25 and at most 57 years of age at the end of the recruitment quarter;
  • has been registered with the VDAB for at least two years as a non-working job-seeker (certain periods are assimilated); 
  • works at a place of business in the Flemish Region;
  • has a contract for an indefinite period, or consecutive contracts for a definite period if that is usual in the company;
  • has not been hired as a temporary worker, in a flexi-job or with the cheap status of occasional worker in the catering sector or agriculture and horticulture;
  • has not replaced an employee who was made redundant to make room for a person who is entitled to this incentive.

Amount of the recruitment incentive

The incentive is paid out in two instalments: € 1,250.00 after 3 months of employment and € 3,000.00 after twelve months of employment. In case of part-time employment the basic amounts are modified:






    first instalment

second instalment




€ 1,250.00

€ 3,000.00


≥ 80%


€ 1,250.00

€ 3,000.00


≥ 30% and < 80%


   € 750,00

€ 1,800.00


< 30%

no incentive



Follow-up and monitoring

On requesting the incentive, the employer must certify certain information.

Afterwards the conditions, such as duration and volume of employment are electronically followed up through an exchange of data with the National Social Security Office (dimona and dmfa).

Premature termination of the contract of employment

When the contract of employment ends within the first three or twelve months respectively, the instalment of the incentive can still be paid out if the company proves that the contract was terminated:

  • by the employee himself/herself;
  • by the employer for a compelling reason or at least for a reason beyond his/her control;
  • due to force majeure.


For the same employee, the incentive cannot be accumulated with certain other Flemish support measures. Companies in difficulties and companies that are the subject of recovering proceedings of government support are excluded.

How do I request the incentive?

The employer must request the incentive within three months after the recruitment (expiry period!) of a potential entitled party, via WSE counter, the online application of the Department of Work and Social Economy (DWSE).


Source: Draft Decree of the Flemish Government amending Art. 6 of the Royal Decree of 16 May 2003 implementing Chapter 7 of Title IV of the Programme Act of 24 December 2002 (I), concerning the harmonisation and simplification of regulations on reductions in social security contributions and Art. 2 of the Decree of the Flemish Government of 17 February 2017 on the granting of recruitment incentives for long-term job-seekers, adopted in the Flemish Council of Ministers on 12 November 2021. Subject to final approval and publication.




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