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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-2022-10/2204 – measures in Belgium

Access to the labour market for Ukrainian refugees

Toegang tot de arbeidsmarkt

Country Belgium , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 04 March 2022
Context War in Ukraine
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Smoothing frictions or reallocation of workers
Author Dries Van Herreweghe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Eurofound
Measure added 04 May 2022 (updated 20 June 2022)

Background information

Following the European guideline of 20 July regarding 'minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons and measures promoting a balance of efforts between Member States in receiving such persons and bearing the consequences thereof' the status of 'temporary protection' has been made applicable to Ukrainian refugees coming to Belgium. In addition to other social benefits, it allows them to be employed within the country without additional permits (aside from the 'A card' that is needed for residing within the country).

Content of measure

If the necessary conditions apply (possession of the A card, have a place of residence and other necessary documents), the Ukrainian refugee is allowed to access the labour market and become employed in the same manner that Belgian state citizens are able to (for the duration that the different permits remain valid). This period is initially established as one year with the possibility to extend it further by six months and a year respectively, depending on the situation at the time. Despite this unlimited access to the labour market, refugees are not allowed to start their own business and become self-employed.

Use of measure

No data available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Migrants or refugees

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Local / regional government
EU (Council, EC, EP)
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: N/A


It is currently unclear to which extent the social partners were involved.

Views and reactions

No public statement on the specific measure released but support is provided by for example trade unions to provide information.


  • 01 March 2022: Recht op OCMW steun en andere sociale rechten (


Eurofound (2022), Access to the labour market for Ukrainian refugees, measure BE-2022-10/2204 (measures in Belgium), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


Eurofound publications based on EU PolicyWatch

30 January 2023


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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.


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First responses to cushion the impact of inflation on citizens

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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.