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Temporary unemployed (still) working in the crucial sectors

09 April 2021 Ellen Van Grunderbeek Employers

The ongoing corona pandemic poses serious challenges for employers in the crucial sectors. Just think of the relentless pressure on caregivers or the harvest peak periods in agriculture and horticulture. Due to the reduced number of workers, they can use extra hands to get through peak periods. Temporary unemployed people have been able to assist in these sector since the start of the corona crisis. As an employer, do you want to call on temporarily unemployed employees to keep your company running? We list the possibilities for you.

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Who can you hire?

Do you want to employ temporary unemployed people in your company? Then take their status into account before you hire them. This form of employment is only possible if the employment contract has been temporarily or completely suspended due to force majeure or for economic reasons. You cannot use someone who is temporarily unemployed due to a work disability.

During this employment, employees receive the agreed wage, which they cumulate with 75 % of their unemployment benefit.

Can you hire temporary unemployed people?

During the first wave of corona, only employers in the key sectors (agriculture, horticulture and forestry) could hire temporary unemployed people. During the second wave, the measure was extended to a range of additional sectors that were severely affected by the health crisis. Since 1 October 2020, temporary unemployed people can also offer assistance to the healthcare sector (hospitals, home care centres, childcare...),  education or start working as a contact tracer.

The federal government announced in the latest package of measures (12 February 2021) that the measure for the use of temporary unemployed persons in the various sectors would be extended until 30 June 2021. The list of healthcare sectors now also include vaccination centres. This law was due to be published shortly.

In addition, temporary unemployed people can also be deployed in key sectors until 30 June 2021, according to a recent Royal Decree. 

Do you have any questions about the corona measures?

Our experts are ready to inform, advise and support you.

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Written by Ellen Van Grunderbeek

Legal advisor at Acerta

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