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Act to suspend the notice period for terminations before or during the period of temporary suspension of the execution of the employment agreement for reasons of force majeure due to the COVID-19 crisis

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22/06/2020
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On 22 June 2020, the 'Act to suspend the notice period for terminations before or during the period of temporary suspension of the execution of the employment agreement for reasons of force majeure due to the COVID-19 crisis' was published in the Belgian Official Gazette.

In summary, the Act provides for the following scenarios where an employee has been or is terminated by the employer with a notice period:

  • notice periods commencing before 1 March 2020 are not suspended during periods of Corona unemployment; 
  • notice periods commencing as from 1 March 2020 and that had already ended on the publication date of the Act in the Belgian Official Gazette (i.e. today) are not suspended during periods of Corona unemployment. The employment agreement will remain ended;
  • notice periods commencing as from 1 March 2020 and that are still running on the publication date of the Act in the Belgian Official Gazette (i.e. today) will be suspended by periods of Corona unemployment as from the publication date of the Act in the Belgian Official Gazette. In this scenario, the suspension commences today.

 

The periods of Corona unemployment that occurred before the publication date in the Belgian Official Gazette (i.e. today) do not suspend the notice period, meaning that there is no suspension for the past.

 

In case the employment agreement is terminated on the initiative of the employee, the notice period is, as usual, never suspended.