Following the advice of the Council of State, a new version of the bill "to suspend the notice period for dismissals given before or during the period of temporary suspension of the performance of the employment contract due to force majeure as a result of the COVID-19 crisis" was published on the website of the Chamber (https://www.lachambre.be/FLWB/PDF/55/1212/55K1212013.pdf). This text was adopted by the Committee for Social Affairs, Work and Pensions on 11 June.
Subject to amendments, the bill (in its current form) provides for the following rules in the event of notice given by the employer.
From the date of publication of the law in the Belgian Official Gazette, the days of temporary unemployment due to force majeure suspend the notice period.
However, if the notice period was running (= took effect) before 1 March 2020, the days of temporary unemployment due to force majeure do not suspend the notice period.
Consequently, only the days of temporary unemployment due to force majeure from the date of publication of the law in the Belgian Official Gazette suspend the notice period, provided that the notice period ran from 1 March 2020.
In the latest version of the bill is therefore foreseen that the entry into force of the law will not take place retroactively. Notice periods that have ended before the date of publication of the law in the Belgian Official Gazette are therefore not affected.
We will keep you informed of the evolution in this matter.
Source: The Chamber.