Flanders wants to reinstate forced registration for temporarily unemployed

Flanders wants to reinstate forced registration for temporarily unemployed
Credit: Belga

Flemish Employment Minister Hilde Crevits has urged her federal colleague Pierre-Yves Dermagne to reinstate forced registration for people who are temporarily unemployed, even in cases where it is a result of the current crisis.

Anyone who is out of work at least ten days a month for three months in a row, should be required to register with the VDAB, the Flemish government’s Service for Employment Mediation and Professional Training, after three months, said Crevits.

“This should not be considered as lost time,” she said. “On the contrary, it is the ideal time to follow training or to temporarily change jobs and hone one’s skills,” something which the VDAB can help with.

As it stands, those who have been made temporarily unemployed due to the current pandemic do not have to register as a jobseeker, following the federal government’s decision to simplify this system.

This exception, which was instated following the increase in temporary unemployment figures, states those who became temporarily unemployed did not have to look for another job or follow training, but would still receive their benefits.

This change in policy was further extended on Friday, however Crevits has now urged Dermagne to go back on this decision.

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In normal circumstances, employees who become temporarily unemployed due to unforeseeable circumstances have to contact the VDAB.

At the moment, some employees or employers of those who are ‘intensively’ temporarily unemployed should be approached for in-depth follow-up and to receive guidance to help them find a training course, work placement, voluntary work or another job.

But as there is no obligation for this to happen, the VDAB does not reach many temporarily unemployed people.

Flanders wants the reinstating of this obligation to take effect on 1 April, when the exception for the temporarily unemployed should normally have expired.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times

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