Slechts enkele anti-crisismaatregelen verlengd.

Certain measures were put in place during the crisis to deal with the employment consequences thereof. The applicability of certain measures has, yet again, been extended.

At the end of January the Belgian government decided that the applicability would only be prolonged for a certain number of anti-crisis measures – i.e. the so-called “white-collar economic unemployment” and the so-called “crisis premium” for blue-collar –, whereas others would expire – i.e. the so-called “temporary adjustment of working time”, “crisis time credit” and “restructuring certificate for employees from companies in insolvency procedures” –.

The Act of 1 February 2011 on the extension of anti-crisis measures in execution of the inter-professional agreement (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”), has been published in the Belgian Official Journal and is applicable as of 1 February 2011. The Act provides for the extension of the applicability until 31 March 2011 and the option that a Royal Decree extends the measures even further, until 31 May 2011.

1.- White-collar employees

With regards the “white-collar economic unemployment”, the Act does not change the scope of the measure, it does however put in place a system of automatic renewal of previously concluded company plans and sector collective bargaining agreements in this matter.

There are two different types of automatic renewal provided for by the Act:

1° Companies bound by a company plan approved by the Commission for Company Plans (i) that is valid until 31 January 2011 at least or (ii) that remains valid until a specific date in 2011, or (iii) of which the duration is linked to the Act of 19 June 2009 on various provisions for employment during times of crisis, will benefit from an automatic extension until 31 March 2011.

2° Measures provided for by a sector collective bargaining agreement applicable on 31 January 2011, will remain applicable upon companies that fall within the scope of said collective bargaining agreement.

Alternatively, no automatic renewal is applicable for measures provided for by company collective bargaining agreements which are valid on 31 January 2011. In these cases, companies will have to enter into a new collective bargaining agreement for the period up to 31 March 2011 or for the legally determined duration of the measures.

2.- Blue-collar workers

With regards the blue-collar “crisis premium”, nothing has changed except the aforementioned duration of the applicability of this measure.