Temporary unemployment due to force majeure in the event of self-isolation of employees: simplified procedure for all em

Author: Catherine Legardien (Legal Expert)
Date:

On 6 November 2020, the federal government decided to reintroduce the simplified procedure for temporary unemployment due to corona force majeure for all employers and employees (manual and non-manual workers).

Consequently, all situations of temporary unemployment due to the corona virus can again be considered as temporary unemployment due to corona force majeure, regardless of whether or not the employer’s company is recognised as a company that is particularly hard hit by the crisis or the company belongs to a sector that is particularly hard hit by the crisis.

This measure shall apply from 1 October 2020 until 31 March 2021.

For more information, please refer to Reintroduction of flexible temporary unemployment due to 'corona' for all companies’.

The simplified procedure for temporary unemployment due to corona force majeure also applies to employees absent due to self-isolation.

Self-isolated employees: principles

If one of your employees is self-isolating, 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 self-isolated, is fit to work but is not allowed to travel to work (see our Infoflash "Coronavirus: the 'quarantine certificate' is official").

The quarantine certificate may also have been sent to your employee via "Contact tracing".

Employment contract and compensation

If your self-isolated 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 is self-isolated, 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.

 

Benefit under the simplified procedure for temporary unemployment due to corona force majeure

For the days on which he is absent, your employee receives an unemployment benefit from the ONEm/RVA corresponding to 70 % of the ceiled salary (2,754.76 EUR per month) plus 5.63 EUR per day.

Following the government's decision to reintroduce the simplified procedure with regard to temporary unemployment due to corona force majeure for all employers and employees, only the following formalities apply:

  • Each month you must declare the days of temporary unemployment (Social Risk Declaration unemployment scenario 5), with the code 5.4 for the 'nature of the day' and 'coronavirus' as the reason;
  • your employee must submit a - single - benefit application to his payout institution by means of the C.3.2 - WORKER-CORONA form.

For more information, please refer to Reintroduction of flexible temporary unemployment due to 'corona' for all companies’.

You must also keep the quarantine certificate that the employee has provided you with at the disposal of the ONEm/RVA, in the event of an inspection.

Sources: Special Powers Decree no 37 of 24 June 2020 implementing Articles 2 and 5 of the Act of 27 March 2020 authorising the King to take measures in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 (II) to support the employees, Belgian Official Gazette of 3 July 2020 - 2nd Ed.; ONEm/RVA.

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