As set out in our previous newsflash, the Parliamentary Committee on Social Affairs, Work and Pensions approved a legislative proposal suspending the notice period given by the employer during periods of Corona unemployment.
Yesterday, the plenary Chamber voted on this proposal, following the advice of the Council of State. There is no longer a retroactive application of the new provisions. However, the new regulation does apply to notice periods that have begun since 1 March 2020.
The new law provides that the employer’s notice period is suspended on the grounds of temporary force majeure resulting from measures taken by the government to limit the spread of COVID‑19.
Nevertheless, this does not apply to periods of notice that already started before 1 March 2020. These notice periods will not be suspended due to Corona unemployment.
This new provision will apply from the day of publication of the law in the Belgian State Gazette. Retroactive application of this law is no longer provided for. Notice periods starting on or after 1 March 2020 will be suspended by periods of Corona unemployment, but only with effect from the entry into force of the law. However, periods of Corona unemployment prior to the entry into force will not suspend the notice period.
We now have clarity regarding the suspension of the notice period due to Corona unemployment. From now on, the notice period that commenced on or after 1 March will be extended by the periods during which the employee was placed on Corona unemployment. Past periods of Corona unemployment will not affect the notice period.