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    Brussels introduces simplified employment assistance system

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The employment assistance system in the Brussels Region will undergo an in-depth modification from Sunday, October 1, based on simplification, reserved access for workers resident in the region, and faster job placements. Some 255 million euros will be reassigned for the benefit of thousands of young, and not-so-young, jobseekers, regional Labour Minister Didier Gosuin said. People excluded for unemployment benefits will also be able to benefit.

    The main target groups include young people under the age of 30, low-skilled jobseekers, long-term (1 year) jobseekers and elderly workers.

    In concrete terms, the entire employment assistance system within Activa, a plan aimed at increasing employment, is being revamped. There will be only one mechanism, as against 28 before. If a company from Brussels, Wallonia or Flanders provides a Brussels resident who conforms to Activa criteria with at least part-time employment on a contract of six months or more, that company will be eligible for financial assistance.

    This assistance will amount to 15,900 euros, spread over 30 months. The monthly financial assistance will be 350 euros for the first six months, 800 euros for the next 12 months and 350 euros for the last 12 months.

    The assistance would be increased if the person employed is handicapped. Further, it is cumulative with other measures implemented by Brussels, Wallonia and Flanders, as the case may be.

    All jobseekers registered with Actiris, the Brussels employment office, for at least 12 months and resident in the Brussels Region are eligible. Young people who have done a six-month internship, those who have successfully completed a 30-month sandwich course and people retrenched when a company is restructured are eligible without the 12-month registration requirement.

    There will no longer be any need to be receiving unemployment benefits to meet Activa conditions. People registered with the Public Social Service Centres (CPAS) and those who do not qualify for unemployment allowances will also be eligible.

    Maria Novak

    The Brussels Times