The compensation for holiday pay for non-manual workers who were temporarily unemployed due to force majeure crisis in the first half of 2022 will soon be calculated by the NSSO and will be deducted from the contributions of the 3rd quarter 2023.
For the period from 1 January 2022 to 30 June 2022, temporary unemployment ‘Corona’ has been treated again as time actually worked for the purpose of calculating annual leave. Temporary unemployment ‘Floods in Summer 2021’ and temporary unemployment due to the conflict in Ukraine are also treated as time actually worked for this period.
Therefore, below we mean by ‘temporary unemployment due to force majeure crisis’:
- The periods of temporary unemployment due to force majeure ‘Corona’;
- The periods of temporary unemployment ‘Floods in Summer 2021’;
- The periods of temporary unemployment 'Ukraine'
for the period from 1 January 2022 to 30 June 2022.
The government has announced that absence following unemployment ‘due to force majeure crisis’ in the 1st half of 2022, just like time actually worked, entitles to annual leave in 2023 and to the corresponding single and double holiday pay. To date, we are still awaiting publication of the legal text in the Belgian Official Gazette (see our Infoflash of 6 March 2023).
For manual workers, employers do not bear the cost of the equal treatment anyway, because the contribution for the sector annual leave (15.84%) is only calculated on the actual wages of their manual workers. It is the National Office for Annual Leave that funds the equal treatment (by granting an allowance).
The situation is different for non-manual workers: in this case the individual employer pays the single and double holiday pay on the (fictitious) pay for the days treated as days worked. The compensation mechanism described below is intended for them. This compensation is intended to reduce the cost of treating the periods of temporary unemployment due to force majeure crisis from 1 January 2022 to 30 June 2022 as time worked.
The compensation is calculated using a formula similar to that for 2021 and 2022, but based on a lower budget.
To compensate the holiday pay 2023, the government provides a closed budget of € 12,417,863. The compensation is therefore not calculated on the basis of the actual costs of each individual employer, as that would not respect the budget.
Important note: To date, the legal text providing for this compensation mechanism has not yet been published in the Belgian Official Gazette. It is therefore subject to change;
Calculation per employer in detail
Only employers with an average percentage of unemployment due to force majeure crisis of 41% or more are entitled to this compensation.
Step 1 = Determine the average percentage of unemployment due to force majeure crisis in the 1st and 2nd quarters 2022
The calculation starts at the lowest level, per quarter and per individual non-manual worker based on a ‘temporary unemployment due to force majeure crisis’ (Corona, Floods and/or Ukraine) employment fraction: days of temporary unemployment due to force majeure crisis / (13 x contractual number of working days per week).
Temporary unemployment ‘due to force majeure crisis’ is identified based on code for time worked 77 in the DmfA declaration.
The ‘temporary unemployment due to force majeure crisis’ employment fraction follows the principles of the employment fraction (µ) structural reduction, i.e.:
- that hours are used for the calculation for non-manual workers who are also declared in hours (e.g. part-time workers);
- that, if necessary, an overall 'temporary unemployment due to force majeure crisis' employment fraction is determined on the basis of partial 'temporary unemployment due to force majeure crisis’ employment fractions per line of employment.
The average of the individual 'temporary unemployment due to force majeure crisis’ employment fractions of all non-manual workers, calculated over the first and second quarters 2022, constitutes the average percentage of 'temporary unemployment due to force majeure crisis’, that will be used in step 2 below for the employer concerned.
Employer X employed 10 full-time non-manual workers on a 5-day week in the first quarter of 2022. 5 of these had 30 days of unemployment ‘Corona’ and 5 others had 40 days of unemployment ‘Ukraine’ (code for time worked 77 in the DmfA declaration).
5 x (30/65) + 5 x (40/65) = 5.40
To keep things simple, we assume that the situation in the second quarter has the same outcome - so the first & second quarters each have a total 'temporary unemployment due to force majeure crisis’ employment fraction of 5.40 per 10 non-manual workers.
Average over the two quarters: 5.40/10 = 0.540 = 54%
The employer is entitled to compensation because this percentage (54%) exceeds 41%.
Step 2 = determine the compensation percentage
Unlike in 2021 and 2022, there is only one compensation percentage, set at 100%.
Step 3 = calculate the compensation in €
The budget of € 12,417,863 is the starting point. An individual employer has a share in this budget, in proportion to the share of his temporary unemployment due to force majeure crisis in the overall temporary unemployment due to force majeure crisis for the first half of 2022.
The following formula is used for this weighting: E x (A/T)
E = the budget of € 12,417,863
A = the share in the budget of the individual employer: per employer, the result of the compensation percentage (unique percentage of 100% if the employer is entitled to compensation) multiplied by the sum of the overall employment fractions (result of step 1) added together for the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2022.
T = the shares of all employers combined: the sum of all results A of all employers
Continuation of the example
We continue with the data of employer X.
Compensation percentage = 100%
A = (5.40 x 2 quarters) x 100% = 10.80
Suppose the sum of factor A for all employers combined = 700,000
Compensation in € for employer X: € 12,417,863 x 10.80/700,000 = € 191.59
The NSSO will calculate the compensation automatically based on the DmfA declaration for the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2022. The employer does not have to submit a request.
The result will be deducted from the contributions payable by the employer for the 3rd quarter 2023. Any unused credit will be carried forward to subsequent quarters provided that there are sufficient contributions.
At the end of June 2022, each employer concerned will receive a message in his e-box, detailing the compensation.
Source: Draft programme Act Doc 55 3372/001