Neutralisation of corona parental leave/corona time credit for the right to time credit

Author: Catherine Legardien (Legal Expert)

Collective labour agreement (CLA) No. 103/5, that has recently been concluded in the National Labour Council, neutralises, for the right to time credit, several periods of suspension or reduction in working hours linked to the coronacrisis. These are corona parental leave, corona time credit and the corona end-of-career time credit. Purpose? To facilitate the transition from these types of leave to the 'classic' time credit with motive or end-of-career time credit. A word of explanation.


If, under the various time credit schemes (with motive or end-of-career), the employee has opted for a reduction in working hours to a half-time job or by 1/5, he must be able to prove the following at the time of written notification to the employer:

  • employment of at least 3/4 in the course of the previous 12 (or 24) months, in case of a reduction in working hours to a half-time job;
  • full-time employment or employment of at least 4/5 in an employment system spread out over 5 days per week or more during the 12 (or 24) preceding months in case of a 1/5-reduction in working time.

In order to determine whether this employment condition actually has been fulfilled, certain absences from work of the employee shall be taken into account that are either treated as time worked or that are neutralised.

Neutralised periods: how does it work?

When the employee suspends or reduces his working hours in the framework of a period that is not treated as time worked or that is not neutralised, the counter for determining the duration of employment is set to 0 each time. This situation can be prevented by treating this time as time worked and by neutralising.

More specifically, the neutralisation of periods of suspension or reduction in working hours has the consequence that the period of employment of 12 (or 24) months must be extended by the duration of the neutralised period(s). The neutralised periods are, as it were, discarded. In other words, these neutralised periods extend by the same duration the period taken into account to determine whether the employee is entitled to a reduction in working hours to a half-time job or by 1/5.

New neutralised periods

CLA No. 103/5 completes the list of periods of suspension or reduction in working hours that are neutralised to determine the employment condition of 12 (or 24) months. Will be neutralised from now on:

  • the periods of corona parental leave,
  • the periods of corona time credit,
  • the periods of end-of-career time credit.

Example: an employee applies for half-time time credit 'with motive' to take care of his child younger than 12 years. In the 12 months preceding his application to reduce his working hours to a half-time job, he has taken 3 months of half-time corona parental leave. Since corona parental leave is now a neutralised period for the calculation of the employment condition, this means that the employee will have to justify 12 months of full-time employment in the 15 months (12 months + 3 neutralised months) preceding his written application.

Entry into force

CLA No. 103/5 enters into force for an indefinite period, with retroactive effect from 1 May 2020.

Source: CLA No. 103/5 of 7 October 2020 amending collective labour agreement No. 103 of 27 June 2012 implementing a scheme of time credit, reduction of working time and end-of-career time credit;

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