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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

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

Factsheet for case BE-2020-12/1053 – measures in Belgium

Water and energy premium in case of temporary unemployment

Water- en energievergoeding bij tijdelijke werkloosheid door COVID-19

Country Belgium , applies regionally

Time period Temporary, 20 March 2020 – 17 August 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Provision of services in kind (e.g. food vouchers)
Author Dries Van Herreweghe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Eurofound
Case created 01 September 2020 (updated 11 September 2020)

Background information

In order to prevent the large group of people that relied on economic unemployment benefits, an energy and water premium was established. Concretely, every employee who became temporarily unemployed as a result of the corona crisis receives a lump sum of €202.68 from the Flemish government for the payment of the water and energy bill.

Content of measure

Every employee that had to rely on economic unemployment to a certain extent is eligible for the measure. The amount of €202.68 is given automatically, without any additional actions necessary by the person struck by economic unemployment due to the COVID-19 crisis or any of the measures implemented by the government (for example: forced closure of certain businesses and sectors). The measure applies only to citizens in Flanders. The premium applies to people and not households, meaning that in a household with two adults two premiums can apply. In case of rental the premium is distributed to the tenant and not the landlord (as it is the tenant who pays the energy- and water bills of his/her property).

Use of measure

In June it was reported that approximately 700,000 Flemish citizens applied for the water- and energy premium.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Other groups of workers
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Local / regional government
Regional 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: N/A



Views and reactions




Eurofound (2020), Water and energy premium in case of temporary unemployment , case BE-2020-12/1053 (measures in Belgium), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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