Temporary unemployment following the floods: possible until 31 March 2022

Author: Catherine Mairy (Legal Expert)

The ONEm/RVA provides new clarifications on the rules concerning temporary unemployment due to force majeure as a consequence of the bad weather of 14 and 15 July.


The ONEm/RVA accepts that all situations of temporary unemployment as a consequence of the bad weather be declared as temporary unemployment due to force majeure.

This will be the case if:

  • the employee is unable to perform his duties because the workplace is flooded or the employer's infrastructure is affected or destroyed,
  • the employee cannot get to the workplace because public transport is suspended or roads are flooded.

Temporary unemployment due to force majeure until 31 March 2022

Given this exceptional situation, it is accepted, until 31 March 2022, that circumstances which do not in themselves directly render work impossible may nevertheless be invoked to justify temporary unemployment due to force majeure.

By such circumstances is meant situations where the employee has suffered severe loss or damage and is therefore unable to go to work because he has to give priority to finding a new home, cleaning or repairing his home, settling his claim or finding alternative means of transport. 

It is also accepted that temporary unemployment due to force majeure may be alternated (i.e. the employee does not have to be temporarily unemployed continuously or there may be an alternation between employees).

Please note! In order to be able to invoke temporary unemployment due to force majeure, certain conditions must be met. All information is available on the website of the ONEm/RVA.


In the event of temporary unemployment due to force majeure, the ordinary procedure must in principle be followed. This means that the employer must notify the temporary unemployment due to force majeure to the ONEm/RVA.

As a reminder, for the days of temporary employment in the period from 14 July to 31 July 2021, temporary employment is however accepted without this notification.

For the period from 1 August 2021 onwards, the employer is obliged to send an electronic notification of temporary unemployment to the ONEm/RVA.

This declaration must mention, depending on the circumstances, the reason for force majeure:

  • FLOODING - PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT LOCATED IN AN AFFECTED AREA (if the employer is affected) (reason 1)
  • FLOODING - EMPLOYEE’S PLACE OF RESIDENCE LOCATED IN AN AFFECTED AREA (if the employee is affected) (reason 2) 

This declaration must indicate the foreseen duration of the force majeure and can be made for a maximum period of three months. 

In the “remarks” section, the employer must give a concrete description of the circumstances (e.g. cleaning work in a flooded house, no means of transportation to work, etc.).  No supporting documents need to be attached to the declaration. 

Please note! If a declaration of force majeure based on the employee's personal situation (reason 2) has already been made and accepted until 15 August 2021, 31 August 2021, 30 September 2021 or 31 December 2021, (a) possible extension(s) until 31 March 2022 require/requires a new declaration.

Since derogation rules for all temporary unemployed persons in the context of the coronacrisis still apply until 31 March 2022, the employee does not have to be in possession of a C3.2A control card.

Source: ONEm/RVA.



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