On May 2, the Belgian corporate regime reform will come into effect, as will a series of other measures which will bring about changes for the status of self-employed workers, job-seekers and companies.
Self-employed workers will be able to benefit from a 10-day paid paternity leave, after the measure was unanimously approved by the Chamber of Representatives in February. New parents concerned by the measure will have the option to take the leave in the four months that follow the birth of a new child, as well as the option to take off half-days instead of full working days.
According to local media, the measure is intended to ensure a better work-life balance for self-employed workers in Belgium, a fast-growing demographic, and to eliminate differences in social benefits between new parents who are employees and those who work independently. The introduction of the measure follows the creation of the 1819 website, a centralised resource and point-of-contact meant to guide independent workers through the formalities of this particular working status in the capital.
For businesses, May brings about the progressive restructuring and simplifying of the country’s corporate regime, which will see the 17 different types of enterprise regime stripped down to only four. The new regime will be introduced progressively, but will immediately apply to all newly created enterprises, associations and foundations. Existing structures will have until January 1, 2020, to complete their migration into the new system by opting-in.
On a regional scale, Wallonia’s new Training and Insertion Plan (PFI in French) set to come into effect on May 1st, aims to give a boost to unskilled job-seekers by implementing an in-company training scheme, with a guaranteed hiring opportunity upon completion. The measure is also intended to help companies, public and private alike since the region’s PFI means they will be able to take control of the content and duration of training programs, which were previously defined by the region’s jobs authority.
A move by Luxembourg to introduce a one and two cents tax-hike on gasoline and diesel, respectively, could mean a rise in frequentation in Belgian gas stations.