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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-2020-18/860 Updated – measures in Belgium

COVID-19 parental leave

Conge parental Corona

Country Belgium , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 May 2020 – 30 September 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Support for parents and carers (financial or in kind)
Author Dries Van Herreweghe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Eurofound
Case created 19 May 2020 (updated 29 October 2020)

Background information

A new parental leave called the Corona parental leave has been put in place in addition to the more traditional parental leave in order to help parents take care of their children during the Corona crisis and closure of schools. The Corona parental leave can be granted for 20% or 50% of full-time working-time. This law was voted on the 2 May and is applicable retro-actively to 1 May and covers the month of May and June. The reference is the arrêté royal n° 23 du 13.05.2020 taken under article 5, §1, 5°, of the law of 27 Mars 2020 with respect to the special measures to be taken to fight the coronavirus COVID-19 (II).

Content of measure

The Corona parental leave is oriented towards parents (biological, foster and by adoption) with children aged 12 years old or younger, or parents with children with disabilities who are 21 years old or younger. The leave can be taken for 20% or 50% of full-time work. To benefit from the 20% reduction the parent should work full-time and to benefit from the 50% reduction the parent should work at least 75% of full-time working hours. If an employed parent wishes to reduce their work by 100% or 10% they should apply for the traditional parental leave, self-employed parents however can apply for a 100% reduction of work via the Corona parental leave.

Parents that have worked for one month in the private sector or one day in the public sector are eligible for the Corona parental leave. Parents that are self-employed as main activity are also eligible, but not if they are benefiting from the Bridge benefit (see elsewhere in the database).

The flat-rate benefit is 25% higher than the benefit for the traditional parental leave, for example €149.60 for a 20% reduction as compared to €119.68 for the traditional parental leave for employed parents. For the self-employed a 100% reduction is compensated by €532.24 a month, or €875 if single parent.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

01 October 2020

The Corona parental leave will not be extended further after 30 September 2020. Parents that need to care for their children can make use of alternative measures (eg.: regular leave (paid or not paid), leave due to imperative grounds, telework, etc.).

14 September 2020

An adjustment to collective agreement 103 is provided for which includes the neutralisation of corona parental leave, corona time credit and corona landing job. This will make it easier for workers to rejoin the corona time credit and runway system. At the end of one of these corona systems, therefore, workers will rejoin the ordinary time credit or landing runway system

01 July 2020

The system will be extended until the 30 September (the current duration of the measure is currently from the 1 May 2020 until the 30 September 2020).

19 June 2020

The Corona Parental leave system will be prolonged until the 30 of September 2020.

In addition two changes are applied, starting on 1 July:

  • Single parents as well as parents that have a disabled child now have the additional option to take full-time corona parental leave as well.
  • The level of the interruption benefit for this same group of parents (single and with a disabled child) will be increased as well by 50%.
  • The benefit cannot be higher than the gross wage of the person involved.

Use of measure

It is not known how many benefit or will benefit from the Corona parental leave at this stage.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Does not apply to businesses Parents

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

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

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

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

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

It is not known whether the social partners were involved, but it is to be expected that they were at least informed about the measure.

Views and reactions

It is not known whether the social partners were involved, but it is to be expected that they were at least informed about the measure.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), COVID-19 parental leave, case BE-2020-18/860 (measures in Belgium), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

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