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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-2020-47/1685 Updated – measures in Belgium

New Flemish Protection Mechanism

Nieuw Vlaams Beschermingsmechanisme

Country Belgium , applies regionally

Time period Temporary, 15 November 2020 – 14 March 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial) or damage compensation
Author Dries Van Herreweghe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Eurofound
Measure added 08 January 2021 (updated 23 March 2022)

Background information

Entrepreneurs that have been struck significantly because of the crisis and can prove so for the period between 1 October and 18 November are eligible to a remuneration of a percentage of the turnover loss. The mechanism was introduced following the further restrictions that were introduced in October-November 2020 by the Flemish minister of Economy and Innovation.

Content of measure

The support is provided to companies that can prove that their turnover has decreased by 60% in the period between 1 October 18 November 2020, compared to the previous year.

The support amounts to 10% of the turnover during the same period in 2019. Self-employed workers in a secondary occupation can receive 5% aid. For enterprises that had not yet started in 2019, the decrease in turnover will be compared with the expected turnover as stated in their financial plan.

The maximum support amounts to: €7,500-€22,500 depending on the amount of employees and application date.

Cafés and restaurants which were forced to closed from 19 October to 18 November 2020 as a result of the federal and Flemish coronavirus measures do not have to demonstrate the reduction percentage in turnover.


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

06 December 2021

In response to new COVID-19 measures, the Flemish government decided to reintroduce the Flemish protection mechanism.

The Flemish protection mechanism aids companies who suffer a severe loss of turnover due to severe operating restrictions. The aid amounts to 10% of half of the company's turnover in the last quarter of 2019 (with a maximum amount depending on the number of employees active within the company). Companies that are compulsorily closed do not have to prove any loss of turnover for the current closure period, but must prove the turnover in the reference period in 2019.

29 September 2021

Narrowing down of the measure to several sectors: only companies operating discotheques, dance halls, banquet halls, hotels, event companies, travel agencies or passenger transport via coaches in the Flemish Region on 1 July 2021 are still eligible for the support.

23 March 2021

Entrepreneurs who suffered a decrease in turnover of at least 60% between 1 February 2021 and 28 February 2021 due to the corona measures can apply for the Flemish Protection Mechanism for this period from 16 March 2021 onwards (which is the fifth time this has been extended).

The Flemish Government has extended this support measure until the end of April 2021.

Use of measure

It is still too early to assess the uptake of the measure as it is fairly new.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Applies to all 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


The involvement was not stated.

Views and reactions

There are no public reactions from the social partners but the employers' associations provide information and have information on it available on their websites.



Eurofound (2021), New Flemish Protection Mechanism, measure BE-2020-47/1685 (measures in Belgium), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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