If your business has collapsed or is experiencing a dramatic decrease in sales following the special measures introduced in Belgium on 13 March you can temporarily make your staff unemployed. They will be immediately eligible for unemployment benefit (65% of salary up to €2754.76 per month) for a period of up to 3 months (this can be extended if necessary).th

You can apply directly or you can ask your social secretariat to do it. There are two distinct cases of special measures:

  1. Temporary unemployment due to force majeure.  This would apply if your activity has come to a complete halt following the government closure announcements (e.g. you run a conference venue, a training company, a restaurant or a travel agency organising trips in northern Italy). Your staff will be placed on temporary unemployment full time.
  2. You have experienced a catastrophic reduction in business for reasons which are totally beyond your control. You can reduce your work force partially e.g. by staff working fewer hours or by some staff being made temporarily unemployed but not necessarily all. For this situation you need to demonstrate the loss in business.

For both categories of case your social secretariat/payroll agency can take immediate action. The ONEM is still working on how to best speed up decision making (since they must approve all requests. They have already agreed that they will backdate requests which fall into the first category and that  you can apply for the first category while waiting to hear if you are eligible for the second.

Further details here (French): https://www.onem.be/fr/documentation/feuille-info/e1-0#h2_4

And Dutch: https://www.rva.be/nl/documentatie/infoblad/e1-0

Source: ONEM