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Belgium: Crack-down on excessive use of exemption from work

Employers are now obliged to pay an additional social security contribution for each employee who is exempt from work during an entire quarter of the year. It aims to discourage employers to exempt “older” employees from work outside the strict conditions of unemployment with company allowance. Nevertheless, the contribution is also due for younger employees.

Certain situations of exemption from work are excluded from the scope of the additional social security contribution, such as the suspension of the employment contract on a legal basis including illness, accident, pregnancy; the exemption from work during the notice period, etc.

The contribution rate depends on the age of the employee and varies between 20% of the gross quarterly salary with a minimum of 300,00 EUR (<55 years) and 10% of the gross quarterly salary with a minimum of 225,60 EUR (>62 years).