Recovery measure: reduction in employer contributions in the third quarter 2021

Author: Els Poelman (Legal Expert)

The recovery is initiated with a reduction in employer contributions for companies that increase employment in the 3rd quarter 2021.    


The measure is limited to the 3rd quarter 2021 and should support employers who were affected by the corona restrictions and who will be able to resume normal activity thanks to the impending relaxations.

It is open to employers of all sectors, provided they achieve a minimum employment growth in the 3rd quarter compared to the 1st quarter 2021.

The amount of the reduction depends on the impact of the corona crisis on the individual company: the more the company had to reduce employment since the beginning of 2020, the greater the reduction if employment picks up again (and sufficiently) in the 3rd quarter.

It is clear that we are faced with a very complex measure. At a later time we will inform our customers about the implementation of the measure in the payroll administration.



Which employers?

The reduction is intended for private sector employers who increase the volume of work in their company in the 3rd quarter of 2021, for instance by reducing temporary unemployment and/or through new recruitment.

The volume of work in the 3rd quarter of 2021 must reach a minimum increase compared to the 1st quarter of 2021, based on the number of full-time equivalents declared in the dmfa of both quarters. This minimum increase is then further dependent on the size of the company, as follows:

Average number of employees

Minimum increase in the volume of work in the 3rd quarter of 2021, compared with the 1st quarter of 2021


In percentage

In figures

 < 50



≥ 50 and < 500



≥ 500



The average number of employees refers to the importance code of 2021, on the basis of which the NSSO calculates certain fringe contributions.  This is the average number of employees (in heads) at the end of the four quarters in the reference period which runs from the 4th quarter of 2019 to the 3rd quarter of 2020.

The volume of work of a quarter is the sum of the employment fractions (µglob in the dmfa) of all employees declared in the quarter concerned.

As shown in the table above, the volume of work of the 3rd quarter of 2021 must increase compared to the 1st quarter 2021, both in percentage (all companies) and in units (the latter not for companies < 50).

Some examples

Average number of employees

Volume of work


Volume of work 3/2021

Increase in %


in figures

Target group
































The increase is evaluated per legal entity (i.e. not at the level of the group of companies) and cannot be the result of certain legal restructuring operations described in the Code of Companies and Associations, e.g. a merger of companies

For how many employees?

The reduction is applicable in the 3rd quarter of 2021 for five employees per establishment unit.

Furthermore, the conditions specific to all target group reductions apply, such as the lower limit of 27.5% of performance if the employment contract is less than half-time.

Additional conditions

To guarantee entitlement to this reduction, the employer must simultaneously meet five additional conditions:

  1. keep the employees for whom the target group reduction is applied continuously in employment between 1 July and 30 September 2021, except if the employee
  • resigns
  • is dismissed due to urgent reasons
  1. not implement any of the following actions in 2021:
  • payment of dividends to shareholders
  • payment of bonuses to members of the Board of Directors and the company's management staff
  • purchase of own shares.
  1. not announce collective redundancies in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2021
  2. use the registered cash register system if this is imposed by the VAT regulations
  3. comply, in 2021, with the provisions of Chapter 2, Section 1 of the Law of 5 March 2017 on feasible and flexible work, more specifically on achieving the interprofessional training objective. For more information:

FPS Work - training objective

Amount of the target group reduction

The reduction consists of a fixed quarterly amount per employee

  • € 2,400.00 for severely affected employers
  • € 1,000.00 for the other employers

The fixed sum is the quarterly amount for full-time complete quarterly work performances and is processed on the basis of the classic calculation rules of all target group reductions:

  • conversion based on part-time/incomplete quarterly work performances
  • cumulative with the structural reduction
  • capped, if necessary, at the amount of the basic employer contribution

An employer is "severely affected" when the volume of work (total full-time equivalents expressed in total µglob) is:

  • either 50% lower in the 1st quarter of 2021 compared to the 1st quarter of 2020
  • or 50% lower in the 4th quarter of 2020 compared to the 4th quarter of 2019

The evaluation is done at legal entity level based on a "snapshot" of the dmfa of the relevant quarters, to be taken on 1 July 2021.

The decrease may not be the result of certain legal restructuring operations described in the Code of Companies and Associations, e.g. a demerger of companies.


Source: Draft law on temporary support measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chamber

Doc 55 2002/001


The Partena Professional website is a channel for making information available in an understandable form to affiliated members and non-members.

Partena Professional strives to provide up-to-date information and this information is compiled with the greatest care (including in the form of Infoflashes).

However, as social and fiscal legislation is constantly changing, Partena Professional cannot accept any liability for the correctness, the up-to-date or the completeness of the information consulted or exchanged via this website.

Further provisions can be read in our general disclaimer that applies to every consultation of this website. By consulting this website, you expressly accept the provisions of this disclaimer. Partena Professional can unilaterally change the content of this disclaimer.