Since 1 April 2021, employees can, with the consent of their employer, temporarily suspend their career breaks, regardless of the sector in which they work.
Which employees are concerned?
The employees concerned are those who have completely suspended or reduced their working time (to a half-time job, by 1/5 or 1/10) within the framework of time credit or thematic leave (hereinafter referred to as 'career break').
Important! This possibility to suspend the career break was limited to employees in the care and education sectors until 31 March 2021. It now applies to all employees, regardless of the sector in which they work.
What is possible in practice?
The employee may agree with the employer to temporarily suspend his career break.
At the end of that temporary suspension, the career break will be continued for the remainder of the period under the original conditions.
During the period of suspension of the career break, the employee does not receive any career break benefits payable by the National Employment Office (ONEm/RVA).
Temporary suspension of the career break is only possible until 30 June 2021, the end date of this measure.
As long as the employee and the employer make use of this temporary suspension of the career break, the execution of the employment contract of the employee cannot be suspended due to lack of work as a result of economic causes or due to temporary unemployment as a result of force majeure corona, unless the temporary unemployment is the result of a situation of force majeure on the part of the employee.
What are the formalities towards the ONEm/RVA?
The employee must notify the ONEm/RVA in writing of the temporary suspension of the career break by means of a form that can be downloaded from the ONEm/RVA website.
The ONEm/RVA will then send the employee a letter confirming receipt of the notification of the career break suspension.
Sources: Act of 2 April 2021 on temporary support measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Belgian Official Official Gazette 13 April 2021, ONEm/RVA.