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In order to focus on the reintegration of workers and to adopt a positive approach to this, a Royal Decree of 11 September 2022 modifies the current reintegration procedure and introduces a dissociation between the worker's reintegration pathway and termination for reasons of medical force majeure.
The purpose of the reintegration pathway is to promote, with the help of the prevention adviser-occupational physician, the reintegration of workers unable to perform the agreed work, by providing them with adapted work or other work.
A procedure mainly involving the worker, the employer and the prevention adviser-occupational physician must be followed and specific deadlines must be observed.
After the reintegration evaluation, the prevention adviser-occupational physician will write down his decision on the reintegration evaluation form.
Until 30 September 2022, 5 decisions were possible, including work resumption through adapted work, as well as the decision of permanent incapacity for the agreed work, leading to the termination of the contract for reasons of medical force majeure due to the end of the reintegration pathway. There was therefore a single procedure for both the reintegration of workers who are incapacitated for work and the termination of the contract for reasons of medical force majeure.
The Royal Decree of 11 September 2022 amending the codex on well-being at work regarding the reintegration pathway for workers who are incapacitated for work enters into force on 1 October 2022, with the exception of the provisions on the procedure for terminating the contract for reasons of medical force majeure. These will only enter into force at the same time as the amendment of Article 34 of the Employment Contract Act of 3 July 1978 on termination of the contract for reasons of medical force majeure. Therefore, the dissociation of the procedures does not take effect immediately.
The new procedure applies to reintegration pathways in progress from 1 October. There are no transitional measures. For more information, please contact your prevention adviser-occupational physician.
Until 30 September 2022, if the prevention adviser-occupational physician has communicated a decision of permanent incapacity but the worker is able to perform adapted work or if he has communicated a decision of permanent incapacity without the possibility of adapted work, the termination for reasons of medical force majeure remains possible until the entry into force of the new Article 34, but in compliance with the new time limits!
Questions about decisions communicated after 1 October or about new pathways and the possibility of termination for reasons of medical force majeure? Please contact our Legal Partners via email@example.com.
We will keep you updated as soon as we have more details on the entry into force of the specific procedure for termination for reasons of medical force majeure.
Sources: Royal Decree of 11 September 2022 amending the codex on well-being at work regarding the reintegration pathway for workers who are incapacitated for work, Belgian Official Gazette 20-09-2022; Draft law containing various provisions on incapacity for work: https://www.lachambre.be/FLWB/PDF/55/2875/55K2875001.pdf
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