The Belgian government approved Friday, a royal decree allowing an increased number of parents, to take time off to look after a disabled child. This was announced by Employment minister Kris Peeters. A child’s disability is determined based on a point scale. Up until now, only the part of the scale that takes their physical and mental capacity into account could be used to help the parent get time off.
From now on, the scale will be applied over a wider range and all the elements of the disability will be taken into account. The focus will be on the child’s everyday situation. This way, they can take whether the child is home-schooled and their speech and mobility into account.
The disability’s impact on the family will also be taken into account, including the child’s ability to wash and dress themselves. They have to know if the child needs complex everyday care or if they can wash and dress themselves without help, for example.
According to Mr Peeters (CD&V), the 2016 figures show that the number of children concerned could increase from 1,300 to 2,370. The royal decree also raises the maximum age of the child to 21. Another royal decree raises the allocation employees receive when they take time off to take care of their child to 14% of their salary.