Living, working and COVID19


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

Living, working and COVID192021-05-19T13:43:57+00:00

New Corona bonus of 500 euros


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 

New Corona bonus of 500 euros2021-05-19T13:42:43+00:00

Return to the office in June; Working from home no longer compulsory


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

Return to the office in June; Working from home no longer compulsory2021-05-19T10:36:01+00:00

Corona tips: Appropriate ventilation at low cost


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: Sources HR Alert

Corona tips: Appropriate ventilation at low cost2021-05-11T09:48:21+00:00

Back to the office in June? Get ready now


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.  [...]

Back to the office in June? Get ready now2021-04-27T13:41:08+00:00

Resignations are down in the Belgian workforce


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

Resignations are down in the Belgian workforce2021-04-27T10:19:19+00:00

Taxing employees working from home in countries bordering Belgium


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 [...]

Taxing employees working from home in countries bordering Belgium2021-04-15T11:58:57+00:00

Working from home – here’s how to stay sane!


The Louvain4Work team have produced a new paper on staying sane while working from home. Composed of an interdisciplinary consortium of UCLouvain professors and researchers who study different aspects of work in the context of their research the short guide contains some useful tips on how to cope with this prolonged period of home working. You can read the report here: Tips on Working from Home and find out more about their work here:

Working from home – here’s how to stay sane!2021-04-14T16:22:44+00:00

All temporary unemployment measures rolled forward to 30 June 2021


Employers can continue to use the Corona temporary unemployment measures but only if they have used the scheme for at least 20% of regular working hours during April, May and June 2020. If not, they need to use the regular temporary unemployment scheme which requires proof of loss of revenue. These new rules have not yet been published in the Official Journal but they are expected to come in the coming days. Source: SDWorx

All temporary unemployment measures rolled forward to 30 June 20212021-04-14T11:34:59+00:00