Coronavirus school closures and quarantines lead to an increase in temporary unemployment

Coronavirus school closures and quarantines lead to an increase in temporary unemployment
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Six percent of Belgian workers were forced to stay at home due to temporary unemployment at the end of December, twice as many as at the low point in September 2021 (3.1%), HR services provider Acerta noted in a statement on Sunday.

The phenomenon is due to the many school closures and quarantines that were imposed on children during that time, Belga news agency reports.

The high number of people home sick with the virus is causing serious staffing issues in a multitude of sectors, from businesses and food production to education and childcare.

Credit: Belga

Unlike the first waves of Covid-19, when employers were tasked with putting their staff on temporary unemployment due to lack of work, this time it’s the workers who are asking for more temporary unemployment due to the closure of schools or quarantines of their children, notes Acerta.

Between March 2020 and December 2021, nearly a third of workers (31.9%) used temporary Covid-19 unemployment. The rate had fallen to 3.1% last September, but has since gradually risen to 3.3% in October, 4.9% in November and finally 6% in December.

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Acerta's analysis is based on actual data from a set of 260,000 workers employed by more than 4,0000 employers in the private sector, including both SMEs and large companies.


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