A Royal Decree was published on 28 January 2021 in the Belgian Gazette providing compensation for the (partial) loss of the end-of-year bonus for employees greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In principle, the end-of-year bonus is calculated on the basis of the number of days worked in a particular period.
Since the end-of-year bonus is linked to the number of days worked, public authorities want to compensate workers who:
- have a legally binding employment contract; and
- were temporarily unemployed for force majeure (or economic) reasons for more than two months (= more than 52 days) from March to November 2020 inclusive.
For each temporary unemployment benefit paid after the 52-day period, the temporary unemployed person will receive compensation of 10 euros per day (5 euros in the case of half-allowance) with a minimum of 150 euros (75 euros).
However, note that most collective bargaining agreements governing the right to an end-of-year bonus already provide for a certain number of days of temporary unemployment to be counted as working days. Therefore, in many cases the end-of-year bonus will still be paid and compensation will not be required.
This Royal Decree takes effect from 1 December 2020.