European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure BE-1985-23/2655 – measures in Belgium

Transition allowance

Changement d'employeur en cas de reprise d'actif après faillite/Verandering van werkgever in geval van overname van activa na faillissement

Country Belgium , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 07 June 1985
Context Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Income support for unemployed
Author Dries Van Herreweghe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 June 2022 (updated 02 November 2022)

Background information

In some cases of bankruptcy it occurs that a bankrupt company is taken over, in whole or in part, by a third party (generally called "the transferee"). In order not to diminish the chances of success of these takeovers a specific measure is in place whereby the transferee is not subject to the same obligations as those provided for the transferee in case of a regular/complete transfer of the enterprise.

Content of measure

The transition allowance ensures an equivalent wage to the dismissed workers until rehired after the takeover of a bankrupt company for up to 6 months. The allowance is paid by the Business Closure Fund and is equivalent to the worker's gross salary before bankruptcy up to a ceiling fixed by law. The maximum amount of the bridging allowance is equal to the global ceiling established by the fund (€25,000 since 1 January 2009) minus the amounts of the payments made by the fund for wages, allowances, benefits and holiday pay.

The Business Closure Fund is financed for the most part by the companies themselves, that have to pay a percentage of their wage bill and forms a part of their obligatory social contributions. Another (smaller) part is funded by the Belgian state.

Unlike in the case of a conventional transfer, the prospective employer chooses which employees he wishes to take over after the bankruptcy. The principle is that the protected employee cannot demand to be preferably hired. All employees are on an equal footing.

The employee, too, is free to choose whether or not to enter into the employment of the acquirer. His or her refusal does not in any way affect the employee's rights vis-à-vis the transferring company, such as the severance pay, the end-of-year bonus, etc.

Use of measure

In 2017, the fund paid 21,772 employees from 3,475 different companies.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Public employment service
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions




Eurofound (2022), Transition allowance, measure BE-1985-23/2655 (measures in Belgium), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


Eurofound publications based on EU PolicyWatch

30 January 2023


Measures to lessen the impact of the inflation and energy crisis on citizens

Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.


12 September 2022


First responses to cushion the impact of inflation on citizens

Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


12 September 2022


Policies to support EU companies affected by the war in Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.


5 July 2022


Policies to support refugees from Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses of EU Member States, including those of the social partners and other civil society actors, enabling refugees to exercise their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.


Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.