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Belgium to support travel sector with €30 million

Credit: Nenea hartia / CC BY-SA 4.0

While the consultation committee scheduled for this Friday afternoon is to examine a ban on non-essential travel, the federal government has decided to support the sector with €30 million.

The government will be “granting a 70% wage subsidy on a capped salary cost, granted to 30% of the staff,” Economy Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne explained.

The measure will be valid during the first two quarters of 2021, Dermagne specified.

The coronavirus crisis and measures to limit its spread have heavily affected the travel sector to its knees, with no sign of a favourable development in the coming weeks.

However, travel professionals are obliged to fulfil a series of legal obligations towards their clients who are entitled, in the context of package tours, to be accompanied and to benefit from a follow-up for any modifications, cancellations or reimbursements of a departure abroad.

To meet this obligation, companies in the travel sector need to keep some of their staff employed while they are without income.

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“At my request, and that of my colleague Vandenbroucke, the government has therefore decided to support the sector by granting a 70% wage subsidy on a capped wage cost, granted to 30% of the staff,” Dermagne said.

“It is of course understood that the employer will not be able to dismiss – during this period – the workers for whom he receives this subsidy,” said Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.

“We also require these companies to offer training to their employees in order to further develop their skills,” he added.

The Brussels Times