Temporary unemployment corona in half days for certain employers

Author: Els Poelman (Legal Expert)
Date:

Since 10 May 2021, the declaration of half days of temporary unemployment is possible for service voucher companies and school transport organisers.   

For which employees?

Temporary unemployment in half days is possible for: 

  • employees employed under a service voucher employment contract;
  • employees whose main task is to transport pupils to and from schools.

Context

This measure is related to the exemption from payment of the guaranteed wage for the working hours of half a working day, when these hours are cancelled for an unforeseeable reason beyond the employer's control as a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The guaranteed wage is not due provided that the employee is entitled to temporary unemployment for that half day.

See our Infoflash of 13 April 2021.

Half a working day in this context:

  • contains at least half of the working hours provided for in the work schedule for that day;
  • is intended for the performance of an assignment at or for a customer of the employer, which is clearly distinguishable from any other assignment performed during the other part of the day.

The implementation decree governing unemployment in half days was only published on 10 May. A half day of temporary unemployment and the associated exemption from payment of the guaranteed wage will be possible from 10 May until 30 June 2021 (provisionally).

Entitlement to a benefit depends on a timely, complete declaration to the National Employment Office (ONEm/RVA), in addition to the WECH005 declaration which is made at the end of the month.

Notification to the ONEm/RVA

When?

The employer must notify the ONEm/RVA of the half day of suspension due to unemployment:

  • on the day of the suspension itself;
  • OR the next working day;
  • OR the preceding working day if the employer knows with certainty that the performance of the employment contract will actually be suspended.

What information must be provided?

The following information is required:

  1. name, address and company number of the employer;
  2. surname, first name and national social security identification number (NISS) of the unemployed employee;
  3. the calendar day of the half day of unemployment;
  4. the full address of the place where the employee would normally have worked during that half day - in the case of school transport, this is the address of the school;
  5. a statement that the reason for the half day of unemployment is unforeseeable, beyond the employer's control and due to COVID-19;
  6. the number of hours the employee would normally have worked on that day according to the applicable work schedule;
  7. the number of hours cancelled due to the reason mentioned in point 5.

How to make the declaration? 

An instruction on this measure and the corresponding declaration is published on the website of the ONEm/RVA:

temporary unemployment in half days

The half day declaration is integrated in the electronic declaration of temporary unemployment on the portal site of the NSSO:

Temporary unemployment - Social security

 

Source: Royal Decree to grant temporary unemployment benefits to some employees who lose part of their full working day as a result of COVID-19, Belgian Official Gazette of 10 May 2021

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