Companies suffering from the effects of the coronapandemic and employing staff can apply for their employees to temporary unemployment benefits.
If you experience an acute reduction in orders, sales or production, you can call upon unemployment benefits because of economic reasons. If, on the other hand, your company is unable to provide employees with work due to a lockdown, then it is best to resort to unemployment benefits due to force majeure.
Below is a brief overview of what is included in these temporary unemployment benefits:
1. Unemployment benefits because of force majeure:
Companies that are forced to close by order of the government or that are indirectly affected by these measures can apply for unemployment benefits on the grounds of force majeure. Examples are the catering industry, employment in the framework of cultural or sporting events, employment that depends on an employer who has to close down, etc.
This also applies to companies that employ workers who must remain in quarantine due to illness, or who can no longer travel to Belgium due to a general lockdown abroad.
2. Unemployment benefits because of economic reasons:
Temporary unemployment for economic reasons occurs when an acute drop in customers, orders, turnover or production makes it virtually impossible for the employer to maintain normal employment levels.
The essential difference with force majeure is that employment does not become completely impossible, but only economically untenable. Think here of temporary employment agencies, transport companies, wholesale and retail trade, ... etc.
The worker who is temporarily made unemployed receives 70% of his average capped salary (capped at €2,754.76 p/m.). The benefit is also subject to a withholding tax of (only) 26.75%.
Although the procedure for temporary unemployment due to force majeure generally takes a few days, the time limit for benefits due to economic reasons for white-collar workers can be several weeks.
However, during the ongoing recognition procedure for benefits for economic reasons, an application for temporary unemployment on grounds of force majeure may also be submitted, provided that the employer demonstrates that it has already initiated the prior procedure for recognition as an enterprise in difficulty. In this case, the force majeure allowances function as temporary allowances, pending the necessary approval of the application for benefits for economic reasons.
Considering the complexity of the application processs, we recommend that for the applications themselves it is best to contact the social secretariat. They are in the best position to guide you through the administrative merry-go-round as efficiently as possible.
However, if you are unable to use their services or if you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact them. Titeca customer service representative contact us about this on the known telephone number and/or via mail.
All further up-to-date information regarding the corona crisis can follow you on the News page of our website.