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Dismissed Blue-Collar Workers Are Entitled to a Crisis Premium

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Announcement of new rules stipulating that Belgian dismissed blue-collar workers are entitled to a crisis premium

The Act on diverse provisions of 30 December 2009 stipulates that a crisis premium is due to blue-collar workers who are dismissed between 1 January and 30 June 2010 inclusive.

This premium amounts to 1.666 EUR and the cost is in principle divided between the National Employment Service (1.111 EUR) and the employer (555 EUR). This arrangement is expected to be confirmed in a Decree implementing the law.The premium will be exempted from taxes and social security contributions.

In some cases the premium will not be due, in particular in case of:

  • dismissal during the probationary period;
  • dismissal for serious cause;
  • dismissal in view of pre-pension or pension;
  • dismissal as part of a collective dismissal by which the worker can get registered in a re-employment cell.


In addition, employers are exempted from paying their part of the premium if, in 2010:

  • special crisis measures were applied, or
  • temporary unemployment was applied (and this during at least four weeks for blue-collar workers with less than 20 years of seniority and at least eight weeks for blue-collar workers with at least 20 years of seniority).


In both cases the National Employment Service pays the complete crisis premium.

In order to ensure that the dismissal is recognised by the National Employment Service, the Act provides the obligation for the employer to notify the dismissal to the employee by registered letter or by bailiff’s writ. This applies also for dismissal without a term of notice and has as a consequence that, if the notification was transmitted by registered letter, the dismissal will only have effect on the third working day after its mailing.

A dismissal without such notification remains possible, but the employer will have to pay the complete crisis premium (thus 1.666 EUR instead of 555 EUR).

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