2. State Aid
Government subsidies and special relief resources allocated to support employers, and workers, in their efforts to maintain employment and pull through the crisis.
As of 13 March 2020, all temporary unemployment resulting from the coronavirus can be considered as temporary unemployment due to force majeure. This flexible temporary measure of the federal government is valid until 30 June 2020 (but it is likely be prolonged afterwards or followed by a transition period). Under this system, the employment contract is suspended and the employees will receive an allowance of 70% of their capped salary. On top of this, the government will add a supplement of €5.63 per day. Only a withholding tax on professional income of 26.75% will be deducted from the benefit. Parliament is likely to reduce this withholding tax to 15% as of May 2020 until the end of the year. More information can be found in our Corona FAQ.
Companies that had to close down due to the lockdown can request to postpone their social security contributions to 15 December 2020 (for some sectors this postponement was automatic). If the company experienced economic consequences as a result of the COVID-19 virus, and the company has difficulties paying the social security contributions, the employer may apply to the National Social Security Office for an amicable repayment plan for the first and second quarter of 2020. Companies can also request an amicable repayment plan for their taxes. More information ca be found in our Corona FAQ.
The regional governments provide subsidies:
- A subsidy of €4,000 for companies which had to close down in March. If they still had to close down after 5 April, they received an additional €160 per day. If the company has multiple exploitation seats, it can be awarded a maximum of 5 times per company.
- A compensation of €3,000 for companies that did not need to close down, but lost more than 60% of their revenue between 15 March and 30 March, compared to last year (also a maximum of 5 times for companies with multiple seats).
- Another important Flemish measure is the corona-loan for SME’s: see our dedicated newsletter.
- More information and other Flemish measures are also available.
- A subsidy of €4,000 for companies which had to close down (only for certain sectors).
- A compensation of €2,000 for small enterprises with not more than 5 employees, which suffer under the lockdown (e.g. majority of employees on temporary unemployment).
- Postponement of city taxes.
- More information and other measures are also available.
- A subsidy of €5,000 for small and micro enterprises (less than 50 employees) if they needed to close down during the lockdown (only for certain sectors).
- A subsidy of €2,500 for small and micro enterprises which had to reduce their business.
- More information is also available.