The Phoenix bonus in the Brussels-Capital Region

Author: Anne Ghysels (Legal Expert)
Date:

In response to the health crisis, the Brussels-Capital Region has decided to create a new employment aid scheme for employers who hire jobseekers from Brussels. This is known as the ‘prime Phoenix’ (Phoenix bonus).

This document describes how to access the bonus.

Are you eligible?

Any private-sector employer can apply for the Phoenix bonus, no matter what region their activities are based in.

Certain types of public sector employers can also access the bonus.

What type of contract will you need to conclude?

You must offer the candidate at least a part-time employment contract.

The contract may be concluded for an indefinite period or may be a fixed-term contract, but the term of employment must last at least six months.

The contract must be signed between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021 with a start date no later than 31 March 2022.

Particular conditions apply if you are hiring an artist (see below).

Who should you hire?

The conditions the employee must respect vary depending on the type of contract you agree with them.

An €800 / month bonus for a minimum part-time contract, a contract for an indefinite period or a six-month minimum fixed-term contract.

The person you hire must:

  • Live in the Brussels-Capital Region
  • Be registered as a non-working jobseeker with Actiris between 1 April 2020 and 30 June 2021
  • Be below the legal pension age
  • Not have passed the CESS (Higher Secondary Education Certificate).

A €500 / month bonus for a minimum part-time contract, a contract for an indefinite period or a six-month minimum fixed-term contract. 

The person you hire must:

  • Live in the Brussels-Capital Region
  • Be registered as a non-working jobseeker with Actiris between 1 April 2020 and 30 June 2021
  • No longer be in compulsory education
  • Be under the age of 30
  • Have passed the CESS (Higher Secondary Education Certificate or Diploma).

Maximum €500 / month bonus for a minimum part-time contract, a contract for an indefinite period or a one-month minimum fixed-term contract

The person you hire must:

  • Live in the Brussels-Capital Region
  • Be registered as a non-working jobseeker with Actiris
  • No longer be in compulsory education
  • Have completed at least one job as an artist and declared it to the ONSS under code 046 during one of the eight quarters prior to the quarter when they are hired
  • Be under hire for jobs as an artist which have been declared to the ONSS under code 046.

There are periods equivalent to a period of registration as a non-working jobseeker. This is the case for:

  • Fully unemployed people in receipt of benefits
  • Jobseekers in receipt of a CPAS integration income
  • Unemployed people from the EU
  • Young people awaiting a professional integration internship
  • Jobseekers on training schemes
  • Students on alternance training schemes
  • Persons on an FPIE scheme (individual vocational training)
  • Young people on a “First” internship

How much is the bonus worth?

The bonus is between €500 and €800 / month depending on the type of candidate you are hiring.

It will be granted for a limited period of six months.

The amount granted will be prorated to the employee’s work hours for each month. You must therefore send Actiris the hours worked by the employee at the end of every month (see below).

If the employment contract is suspended because the employee is put on a temporary unemployment scheme due to Covid-19, the bonus will also be suspended. It will be reinstated at the end of the temporary unemployment period if the employee is on a contract for an indefinite period.

You cannot receive the same bonus multiple times for the same employee unless they are an artist.

If the employee moves to another region during the period covered by the contract, you will continue to receive the bonus.

Which formalities do you have to fulfil?

  1. You must inform your candidate that, on the day before they are due to start, they must be in receipt of the certificate provided by Actiris.
  2. You then submit the request for the Phoenix bonus:

You will need to attach a copy of the employment contract to your submission.

  1. At the end of each month and, at the latest, within two months of the month in question, you must send to Actiris:
  • the employee’s payslip
  • the “hours worked” form, the template for which is provided by Actiris.

Can this bonus be combined with other benefits?

The Phoenix bonus can be combined with potential ONSS reductions.

However, you will not be eligible if, for the employee in question, you are already receiving other regional support or top-up remuneration. An example of this would be the activation of the work allowance awarded in the framework of Activa Brussels (the generic Activa Brussels or the Activa Brussels reduced capacity for work).

This combination is possible for the Phoenix artist bonus.

Start date

This measure will enter into effect on 1 January 2021

 

Sources: www.actiris.be; Decree of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region of 17 December 2020 to create a recovery bonus for hiring jobseekers, Belgian Official Gazette 30.12.2020

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