Few fines handed out to businesses asking older employees to stay at home
Sunday, 24 February 2019
The “activation bonus” that businesses must pay older employees who stay at home (but keep part of their salary) rarely needs to be paid, L’Echo and De Tijd reported on Saturday. Only 20 businesses had to pay this bonus in the third trimester of 2018 (it is similar to a fine), according to figures provided by Belgium’s National Social Security Office, the ONSS. It was paid for around 200 employees aged 55 and over. These employees found themselves staying at home while keeping part of their salary.
The system was put in place by the government back in 2018. It’s designed to discourage businesses from forcing people into early retirement, which is cheaper than employer-complemented unemployment benefit. This “activation bonus” is 10 – 20% of the employee’s salary. The definitive figures for 2018 are not yet available, but the ONSS says the amount of money the State receives through this system has started to increase.