Temporary unemployment force majeure to take care of a child: the law has been adapted!

Author: Catherine Legardien (Legal Expert)

An amendment was made to the law allowing an employee to remain absent from work in order to take care of his child whose institution (school, day-care centre, disability day-care centre) is closed because of a measure to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Other situations requiring the employee to be absent from work to take care of his child are now covered. As for the days on which he is absent due to the closure of the institution taking care of his child, the employee will be able to benefit from temporary unemployment benefits due to force majeure.


Your employee has the right to remain absent from work without pay:

  • when a minor child with whom he is cohabiting:
    • is unable to attend his day-care centre or school because the day-care centre, school or class to which he belongs is closed due to a measure to limit the spread of the coronavirus,
    • is obliged to follow distance learning,
    • must be quarantined or isolated for another reason to limit the spread of the coronavirus;
  • when he has a dependent disabled child, irrespective of that child's age, and that child is unable to go to a disability day-care centre due to a measure to limit the spread of the coronavirus,

Employee’s obligations

The employee who makes use of this right must inform you immediately.

He must also provide you immediately with one of the following documents, depending on the case:

  • either a medical certificate confirming the child’s quarantine or isolation,
  • or a recommendation for the child to be quarantined or isolated issued by a competent authority,
  • or a certificate from the day-care centre, school or disability day-care centre confirming the closure of the institution or class concerned due to a measure to limit the spread of the coronavirus. This certificate must state the period during which the closure applies.

Your employee retains the right to be absent during the entire period covered by the certificate or recommendation.

Important note! When the employee cohabits with the other parent of the child, this right may only be exercised by one of them for the same period.

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

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

Only the following formalities have to be completed (simplified procedure):

  • 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 pay-out institution by means of the C.3.2 - WORKER-CORONA form.

You must, moreover, keep the supporting document (depending on the case, the quarantine certificate, recommendation or certificate of closure) that your employee has submitted to you at the disposal of the services of the ONEm/RVA, in the event of an inspection.

Source: Act of 20 December 2020 on temporary support measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Belgian Official Gazette of 30 December 2020.

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