During these times of long crisis, a study by Eurofound has shown a decline in mental health and trust in government across the EU between 2020 and 2021. Here are the highlights: All age groups register a low mental well-being, especially young people. The number of people who have difficulties in making ends meet has increased during the pandemic. Trust in national governments is declining as well as in public institutions. A hesitancy wave in getting vaccinated is sweeping the EU and affects men more than women. Social media and declining trust are big factors in vaccine hesitancy. You can find the full report in English here. Sources EuroFound
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The federal government is proposing that companies that did well during the 2020 pay their employees a non-compulsory "corona bonus" of up to 500 euros net in the form of checks along the line of the eco checks and lunch voucher model. They will have a short validity so that the money is spent quickly in local shops. The amount of 500 euros is a maximum. The bonus will be granted in the year 2021. The actual list of stores and organizations where you can spend your corona reward is yet to be determined. "The idea is that people will be able to use it for everyday expenses, like shopping at the supermarket." The issuers of these checks last year were the classic meal ticket providers: Sodexo, Edenred and Monizze. Sources HR Alert
Beginning June 9, you will be able to progressively schedule comeback sessions for up to 20% of your staff at the same time. Each employee will be able to come to work once a week. For SMEs with fewer than 10 employees, a maximum of 5 employees can be present at the same time. Corona tests are recommended but not compulsory. As of July 1, working from home will no longer be required, but "recommended" for anyone whose job allows it. There are several conditions to respect for this return to work: First, the purpose of the return is to promote the psycho-social well-being of the employees and the team spirit ; Employees cannot be obliged to participate in these progressive returns; The employer has to ensure that the rules on social distancing, hygiene measures, ventilation, etc.. are respected; It is best to avoid car-sharing or using public transport during peak hours for the home to work journeys. Sources SD Worx
The pandemic has reminded everyone of the importance of good ventilation and airing rooms. But what policies do you need to put in place as an employer to minimise the risk of infection in the workplace? The Corona Commission has produced a handy guide to indoor air quality including tips, a step-by-step plan and a checklist. To limit the risk of contamination through poor air quality, the main objective is to ensure sufficient ventilation in all rooms (opening windows and doors) and to take corrective measures in rooms where ventilation is clearly insufficient. The detailed recommendations, info about the relevance of CO2 concentration and how to measure it are available in French here: https://www.hralert.be/fr/news/hr-news/bien-ventiler-faible-cout-les-conseils-du-commissariat-corona Sources HR Alert
Employee retention: training employees to fit organisation roles creates opportunities to retain motivated employees who already know your organisation’s culture, have knowledge and experience of your organisation, and also know its history; Reduced recruitment costs: investing in employees increases loyalty and interest in the job so they stay longer; Good PR and attraction of top talent: Top employees want to stay the best and continue to develop throughout their career. These people are looking for organisations that want to invest in them; Business resilience and sustainability: continuous and permanent training keeps your teams in tune with a constantly changing world, making your organisation dynamic and competitive; Gaining a competitive edge: by scheduling the right training based on your company's results, you put your organisation ahead. Sources Developed by SD Worx
According to Attentia, staff working from home will be able to gradually return to the workplace starting in June. Start preparing now so you can be safe and efficient. Two main focus points: The number of employees in the office If everyone returns to the workplace at the same time, it probably won’t be possible to maintain sufficient distance and air quality. Coordinate among your team, set up a rota and make sure everyone knows the rules. It may be useful to provide CO2 meters in frequently used areas. This provides an objective, real-time estimate of whether the ventilation capacity is sufficient for the number of employees present. Psychosocial aspects For many employees, returning to work will be a welcome change. Some employers have identified "home working fatigue" among their employees. For some staff members, however, the physical return to work will be a stressful event. They may be afraid of being infected by a colleague or not looking forward to the commute. Good preparation and communication about preventive measures taken can alleviate many concerns, as can clear guidelines for the employees themselves; such as keeping your distance, wearing a mouth mask, etc. Progressive adaptation is key. [...]
No surprises here but a confirmation from a Securex study: In 2020 employees played it safe by holding on to their jobs in this health crisis. Job opportunities are lower because of the crisis and employees, despite questioning their role within their company, prefer to play it safe," analyzes Guillaume Bosmans, HR research expert at Securex. "When the crisis is over, we should expect a more dynamic recovery of the employment market with more voluntary departures assuming that there are more openings." This trend applies to all regions, although the rate of voluntary departures is slightly higher in Flanders (5.3%, compared to 4.44% in Wallonia and 4.84% in Brussels). On the other hand, involuntary departures increased by 16% last year, mainly due to a significant increase in bankruptcies and retirements, which reached their highest rate since 2015 but also because of the health crisis. Sources L'Echo
The mobility budget applies to all employees that have a car company or that are eligible to have one. What’s the mobility budget all about? It allows employees to transfer their “company car budget” into a flexible mobility budget for private mobility It’s optional: employers & employees can choose it if it works for them It gives employers the freedom to define which transport options are available, as long as they’re sustainable It can be spent by the employee (& family) on sustainable mobility It can be cost neutral for the employer The mobility budget is intended to wean Belgian employees off company cars. Benefits: Helping fight climate change Contributing to employee well-being Flexibility Fiscally attractive Save time and increase productivity The amount of the mobility budget is based on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of the company car for the employer, the calculation can vary from employee to employee. Here are some examples of how the mobility budget is used: As a contribution towards an electric car For a bike, e-scooter or [...]
Belgium has now extended its tax agreements with all neighbouring countries (France, Germany, The Netherlands and Luxembourg) so that any employee who is currently on a Belgian payroll but working from home due to Corona in any of these countries will continue to pay tax in Belgium as if he or she was actually in Belgium. This agreement applies until 30 June 2021. Background Belgium has concluded a double tax treaty with many countries. On this basis, an employee's professional income is in principle taxed in the country where he or she is employed (with a number of exceptions). Due to the corona crisis, many employees are no longer able to cross the border to work in Belgium. As a result, these employees (are no longer taxable in the normal country of employment (Belgium) but in the country where they live. Tax agreements in response to COVID-19 In this context, Belgium concluded a number of tax agreements with neighbouring countries in May 2020. As a result, the days of employment in the home country remained notionally taxable in the normal country of employment of the employees concerned. i.e. Belgium. These agreements were valid until March 31, 2021. Belgium is now extending [...]
Start your own business in Belgium - Online Edition Thursday 20 May 2021 Welcome to the 2021 edition of Belgium's premier business start up event. This event is dedicated to helping you set up your business in Belgium. This half day seminar takes you through all the practical and essential steps you need to take to get your business up and running. Local Knowledge has teamed up with ING, The Bulletin, Group S and LBBH to bring you expert advice on how to start your own business in Belgium. Once again this event is running as an interactive webinar – read on for more details. Registration is free but compulsory. Date: 20 May 2021 Platform – Webinar – Room opens 13h45 14h00 Opening session: Introduction to the format and the speakers 14h10 Keynote - hear from a local entrepreneur 14h40 Each expert introduces their subject - company structures, social security for self-employed, tax matters, banking and finance. 15h00 Parallel break out rooms - you move from session to session to get more information on each of the issues that interest you. We also have a facilitated networking room where you can chat informally to other participants. Post your questions in the chat session [...]