If, from 1 September 2020, you can no longer make use of the simplified procedure of temporary unemployment due to force majeure 'COVID-19', your quarantined employees will be able to receive temporary unemployment benefits due to 'classic' force majeure. A word of explanation.
Quarantined employees: principles
If one of your employees has been placed in quarantine, he must inform you immediately. Upon your request, he must also be able to provide you with a quarantine certificate.
As a reminder, the quarantine certificate is issued by the GP to the employee who, although placed in quarantine, is fit to work but is not allowed to travel to work (see our Infoflash "Coronavirus: the 'quarantine certificate' is official").
This may be the case, for example, if your employee returns from a risk zone (see our Infoflash "Employees returning from risk zones: what to do?").
Employment contract and compensation
If your quarantined employee is still able to carry out his work, for example by teleworking, he will continue to receive his usual wages payable by you.
On the other hand, if your employee is unable to carry out his work because he has been placed in quarantine, his contract is suspended due to force majeure. He will therefore, in principle, be entitled to a temporary unemployment benefit due to force majeure from the National Employment Office (ONEm/RVA) if he can submit a quarantine certificate from his doctor.
Until 31 August 2020, you could make use of the simplified procedure (providing only for a Social Risk Declaration scenario 5) of temporary unemployment 'COVID-19' due to force majeure for your employees placed in quarantine.
From 1 September 2020, you can only resort to the simplified procedure of temporary unemployment due to force majeure 'COVID-19' for your quarantined employees if you meet the conditions to benefit from it.
If you do not meet the conditions to benefit from temporary unemployment due to force majeure 'COVID-19', you have to resort to the ordinary procedure of temporary unemployment due to (classic) force majeure for your quarantined employees. You will then have to complete all the formalities necessary for this type of unemployment, namely:
- communicate, as soon as possible, the reason (‘other reasons’) to the National Employment Office (ONEm/RVA) via the electronic application available at www.socialsecurity.be (heading Entreprise >> Services en ligne >> Chômage temporaire) and submit the documents proving the force majeure,
- at the beginning of the period of temporary unemployment, submit a ‘Social Risk Declaration scenario 2’ via the website www.socialsecurity.be (section >> Entreprise >> Services en ligne >> DRS – Déclaration de risques sociaux >> DRS par secteur >> Chômage >> Scénario 2 ‘Déclaration constat du droit au chômage temporaire ou à la suspension employés’),
- issue a check form C3.2A to your employee on the 1st actual day of unemployment of the month,
- at the end of each calendar month, submit a ‘Social Risk Declaration scenario 5’ via the website www.socialsecurity.be (section >> Entreprise >> Services en ligne >> DRS – Déclaration de risques sociaux >> DRS par secteur >> Chômage >> Scenario 5 ‘Déclaration mensuelle d’heures de chômage temporaire’).
It should be noted that specific measures have been taken for quarantined occasional workers in the agricultural and horticultural sector. See our Infoflash "Extras agriculture - horticulture: benefits if quarantined".
Source: FAQ ONEm.
 As a reminder, after 31 August 2020 you can still resort to the simplified procedure of temporary unemployment due to force majeure 'COVID-19'. However, this is only possible if you are a company that was exceptionally hard hit by the coronacrisis, i.e. a company that experienced a certain number of days of temporary unemployment in the 2nd quarter of 2020 due to force majeure 'COVID-19' or for economic reasons for its employees (total of manual and non-manual workers) amounting to at least 20 % of the total number of days declared to the NSSO (see our Infoflash "Coronacrisis: temporary unemployment after 31 August").
It is also foreseen that after 31 August 2020, employees employed in a company belonging to a sector particularly hit by the coronacrisis will still be able to receive benefits under the simplified procedure of force majeure temporary unemployment 'COVID-19' (for the list of sectors, see our Infoflash "Severely affected sectors: corona unemployment until 31.12").