- 06 May 2015
Both unemployment with company allowance (UCA) and time credit are systems in which a right to a company allowance after dismissal, respectively a right to work reduced hours or take a career break on the basis of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), is linked to a right to unemployment benefits/“interruption benefits” (onderbrekingsuitkeringen/allocations d’interruption) based on a Royal Decree (RD).
On 30 December 2014, significant changes were made by the Michel I government in terms of benefits (see our newsletter of 19 January 2015). The National Labour Council (NLC) now follows with several CBA’s.
The Michel I government raised the minimum age to be entitled to unemployment benefits under the general system of UCA from 60 years to 62 years. The NLC has now followed and has revised CBA no. 17 accordingly.
Next to that, the Michel I government raised the minimum age to benefit from unemployment benefits in various systems of UCA, although it did provide for certain transitional measures. The NLC now confirms these specific systems for the period 2015-2016:
- UCA as from 58 years with a professional career of at least 33 years (of which at least 20 years in a labour regime with night work or at least a certain number of years in a so-called heavy duty job, or with an employer in the construction sector combined with occupational disability);
- UCA as from 58 years with a professional career of at least 35years (of which at least a certain number of years in a heavy duty job);
- UCA as from 58 years with a professional career of at least 35 years, provided that it concerns a disabled employee or an employee with serious physical problems;
- UCA as from 58 years with a professional career of 40 years.
Only for the first regime the right to this system for the period 2015-2016 must be confirmed in a CBA concluded at sector level. This is not the case for the other systems. In order for a dismissed employee to benefit from these systems, no sectorial CBA’s for the period 2015-2016 are required.
For companies facing difficulties or restructurings, the minimum age for the period 2015-2016 is set at 55 years.
The NLC also confirms the various transitional measures provided by the RD of 30 December 2014.
With regard to the time credit, the Michel I government abolished the benefits for unmotivated time credit. The minimum age to benefit from end of career time credit is raised from 55 years to 60 years, subject to certain exceptions.
The NLC does not entirely follow the government and does not alter the right to time credit and end of career time credit as provided for by the CBA no. 103. As a consequence unmotivated time credit is still possible, but then without benefits.
In a separate CBA, the NLC confirms the exceptions to benefit from an end of career time credit with benefits as from 55 years and this for the period 2015-2016. It concerns employees who:
- have a professional career of at least 35 years, or;
- who have worked for a certain period in a heavy duty job, or;
- who have worked at least 20 years in a labour regime with night work, or;
- who have worked for an employer belonging to the construction sector and who have a certificate proving their incapacity to continue their job.
To benefit from this system, the competent joint labour committee must have concluded a sectoral collective agreement in this respect.
> Action point
Follow-up on whether or not your joint labour committee concludes CBA’s confirming the above. Also - before proceeding to a dismissal - check if the employee might be entitled to UCA.