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Companies affected by the consequences of the corona can request temporary unemployment benefits for their employees.
If you are confronted with an acute decrease in the number of orders, your turnover or your production, you can request unemployment benefits for economic reasons. If your company is unable to put employees to work on account of a lockdown, it is advisable that you request unemployment benefits on account of force majeure.
Below you will find a brief overview of the types of temporary unemployment:
Companies that must close down by order of the government or who are indirectly affected by these measures can request unemployment benefits on account of force majeure. This includes the hospitality sector, employment within the context of cultural or sports events, employment that is dependent on an employer who is compelled to close down, etc.
This also applies to companies employing people who are quarantined because of illness or who are unable to come to Belgium due to a general lockdown abroad.
Temporary unemployment for economic reasons applies if an acute decrease in clientele, orders, turnover or production has as a consequence that it is virtually impossible for the employer to maintain the normal employment level.
The essential difference with force majeure is that employment is not entirely impossible, but only economically unsustainable. Employees who become temporarily unemployed will receive 70% of their average capped wages (capped at € 2,754.76 per month). Wage tax is also deducted from the unemployment benefit, amounting to (only) 26.75%.
Although the procedure for temporary unemployment on account of force majeure normally takes a few days, it may take a few weeks for unemployment for economic reasons.
However, during the procedure for the approval of unemployment benefits for economic reasons, a request for temporary unemployment on account of force majeure can also be submitted, provided that the employer proves that he already started the prior procedure for recognition as a company in difficulty. In that case the unemployment benefits on account of force majeure are considered to be temporary benefits, pending the required approval of the request for unemployment benefits for economic reasons.
In view of the complexity of the procedures, we advise you to contact your payroll administration agency. They are in the best position to efficiently guide you through the red tape.
However, if you are not able to call upon their services or if you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact your Titeca account manager at the usual telephone number and/or by e-mail.
You can consult all up-to-date information about the corona crisis on the nieuwspagina van onze website.