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Corona measures and support in November: an overview

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Today (06/11), the federal and state governments issued clarifications regarding additional support measures to guide the self-employed and employees through the second lockdown. Below are the most important support - closure measures briefly explained for you.


Support measures


Flemish protection mechanism

Any entrepreneur who suffers a loss of turnover of at least 60% between October 1 and November 18, 2020, can apply for the Flemish Protection Mechanism (see previous newsletter).

Given the additional closures decided by the Flemish Government on 27 October 2020, the loss of turnover of at least 60% will not have to be demonstrated for these compulsory closures either. Companies that are allowed to remain open but suffer a loss of turnover of 60% will in principle also be eligible for the protection mechanism. Further details on this will follow.


Investment tax credit is extended

The increased basic rate of the investment deduction (25% instead of 8%) is further extended. Sole proprietors, liberal professions and SMEs that have made investments between 12 March 2020 and 31 December 2022 can benefit from an investment deduction of 25%. The measure is thus extended by 2 years.


Extension of tax deferral

The support measure to give financial breathing space to affected companies will be extended (current expiration is 31/12/2020). The possibility will therefore remain to obtain individual deferral of payment of taxes without penalties and default interest.


The bridging rights

The self-employed who are obliged to close down on the basis of the new measures, or who experience economic hindrance because of corona, can enjoy a bridging right under certain conditions. Please note that the bridging rights cannot be accumulated with each other!



For whom: The self-employed who are forced to close their doors (e.g., a café owner), or the self-employed who are highly dependent on companies that are forced to close (e.g., a brewer).

What amount: The self-employed who are forced to close or depend on these sectors and have completely shut down operations will receive double benefits: 2.583,38  (or 3,228.20 euros per month with family burden). The self-employed who depend on these sectors but still continue the activity on a limited basis receive a single benefit: 1,291.69 euros (or 1,614.10 euros per month with family burden).

How to Apply: Submit application to client's social insurance fund.



For whom: The self-employed who, on May 3, were engaged in a principal activity that at the time mandatory had to have been discontinued, and face a continued decline in sales:

To receive a reliance benefit for the months of June through September, sales in Q2 2020 must be at least 10% lower than sales in Q2 2019.

To enjoy a reliance benefit for the months of October through December, sales in Q3 2020 must be at least 10% lower than sales in Q3 2019.

What amount: 1,291.69 euros (or 1,614.10 euros per month with family burden).

How to Apply: Submit application to client's social insurance fund.



For whom: The self-employed who must quarantine but not incapacitated, and have a quarantine certificate. In addition, starters who do not qualify for the above bridging rights could apply for the classic bridging right.

What amount: 1,291.69 euros (or €1,614.10 per month with family expenses) for a full month's interruption. If the self-employed person interrupts his activities, for example, only for a week, he receives a prorated amount.

How to Apply: Submit application to client's social insurance fund.


Supplementary sickness benefit for cohabiting self-employed persons

Disabled cohabiting self-employed workers receive a supplement to their disability benefits up to the level of the (single) bridging entitlement.


Employees and employers

Eased temporary unemployment

The federal government has just announced that temporary unemployment for corona will be reintroduced for all companies. Thus, all companies will be able to place workers on temporary unemployment again through the simplified procedure.

The temporary unemployed is entitled to an allowance of about 70% of a capped salary. The NEO also takes a supplement of EUR 5 per day for its account.

In addition, the government would intervene to finance vacation pay and the end-of-year bonus for the long-term temporarily unemployed.

Employees who have been temporarily unemployed for at least 52 days in 2020 will receive a supplement to their end-of-year bonus of EUR 10 for each additional day of temporary unemployment. The supplement would amount to at least EUR 150 in all cases.


Refund of employer contributions third quarter

Sectors that must close will receive a waiver of employer contributions for the third quarter. Suppliers would also be eligible, if they can demonstrate a 65% drop in sales. More details to follow.


Supplemental sickness benefit

Disabled workers who are no longer entitled to guaranteed wages will receive an increased benefit that brings the overall benefit to the same level as a temporary unemployment benefit.


Other support measures

  • Extension of VAT reduction (6%) on hand gels and mouth masks;
  • Extension of free notarized powers of attorney that will prevent people from having to go to the notary office;
  • Extension of the guarantee scheme for SMEs and the guarantee scheme for credit insurance until June 30, 2021;
  • Additional deferral of payment for the corporate contribution until the end of the year 2020 (October 31, 2020 → December 31, 2020);
  • Tax-exempt overtime within key sectors;
  • Doubling seasonal labor quota;
  • Temporarily unemployed people can work in healthcare for short periods of time;
  • One-time premium of 300.00 euros for the healthcare staff.
  • People who benefit from a living wage, IVT or IGO receive an additional premium of 50 EUR.
  • There will be more flexible access to artist unemployment for the cultural sector.


Closure measures and restrictions

Which businesses will remain open?

Essential stores will remain open. Specifically, these are the following businesses:

  • stores that sell food, such as supermarkets, bakeries, night stores or sandwich stores
  • stores selling pet food
  • pharmacies and stores that sell medical devices such as crutches or wheelchairs
  • stores offering personal care and hygiene products
  • telecommunications stores, except stores that sell only accessories
  • Do-it-yourself stores that mainly sell tools and building materials
  • garden centers, nurseries, flower stores
  • newsagents, bookstores, and stationery stores
  • retail stores that sell fabrics and knitting and sewing supplies
  • Gas Stations
  • Laundromats
  • Garages and bike stores to perform urgent repairs by appointment.
  • Wholesalers for professionals (for professionals only)


The above list is non-restrictive. When in doubt about whether or not the company should close check the MB for the concrete joint committees (there is a detailed list in the MB) or contact the crisis center (


Telecommuting is mandatory

Telecommuting is mandatory unless it is impossible due to the nature of the job, or the continuity of operations, activities or services. Employees who are still in the company will be mandatory must have a certificate from the employer justifying their presence.

The Social Inspectorate will carry out inspections to monitor compliance. For non-compliance, the company risks a criminal fine between 400-4,000 euros or an administrative fine of 200-2,000 euros (to be multiplied by the number of employees involved, with a ceiling of one hundred times the maximum fine for one employee).


If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. You can reach us at any time on 051 26 82 68 or by e-mail at