Taking care of your child during the extended Easter holidays: is temporary unemployment corona possible?

Author: Catherine Legardien (Legal Expert)
Date:

The latest government measures to combat coronavirus may force some employees to remain absent from work to take care of their child, as schools closed early from 29 March or Easter holiday camps were cancelled. This could also be the case for employees who respond to the call of the authorities not to send their child to nursery school or day-care centre.

Can the employee benefit from temporary unemployment benefits due to force majeure corona for those absences?

Early closing of schools from 29 March

An employee who has to remain absent from work due to school closures during the week of 29 March to 2 April to take care of his child can receive temporary unemployment benefits due to force majeure corona. This applies both to the employee whose child is on ‘early holidays‘ and to the employee whose child has to follow distance learning courses.

More information? Please refer to the website of the ONEm/RVA and our Infoflash “Temporary unemployment force majeure to take care of a child: the ONEm provides further details!“.

Cancelled Easter holiday camps

The employee who, due to the new government measures, has his child’s camp (holiday camp or out-of-school care) cancelled, can also benefit from temporary unemployment benefits due to force majeure corona to take care of his child during the Easter holidays. This was announced by Minister of Employment Pierre-Yves Dermagne.

This possibility is not provided for in the regulations, but has been confirmed by the ONEm/RVA.

Important note! The employee can only exercise this right:

  • if he has to take care of a minor child with whom he is cohabiting during the Easter holidays and,
  • if the child had been signed up for the holiday camp or out-of-school care before 18 March 2021 at the latest.

The employee who wishes to exercise this right must also comply with the following obligations:

  • inform his employer immediately;
  • provide his employer, without delay, with a certificate confirming the cancellation of the booking for the holiday camp or out-of-school care issued by the organiser of the holiday camp or out-of-school care. By means of this certificate, the organiser confirms the booking date and the reason why the childcare cannot take place (e.g. cancellation of the camp or limitation of the number of admitted children).

What about nursery schools and day-care centres?

The right to temporary unemployment due to force majeure corona may exceptionally also be granted to an employee who responds to the call of the authorities not to send a child with whom he is cohabiting to nursery school (during the week of 29 March to 2 April) or day-care centre (during the period from 29 March to 18 April) for the days on which he himself is taking care of the child.

This possibility is not provided for in the regulations, but has been confirmed by the ONEm/RVA.

The employee who wishes to exercise this right must comply with the following obligations:

  • inform his employer immediately;
  • provide the employer, without delay, with a certificate 'garde enfant fermeture corona' (childcare closure corona), only if the employer requests it (to confirm that the child is enrolled in the school or day-care centre). In part A of this certificate, the nursery school or day-care centre must only complete section 1.

If the nursery school or day-care centre is partially or completely closed (because of a measure in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus), the employee can of course benefit from temporary unemployment due to force majeure corona, as provided for in the regulations.

Source: ONEm/RVA.

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