Nearly 1,700 investigations into temporary unemployment fraud
Share article:
Share article:

Nearly 1,700 investigations into temporary unemployment fraud

Credit: Belga

The National Employment Office (Onem) has opened 1,692 investigations for possible abuse of the temporary unemployment system, while a total of 139,605 employers have made use of this measure since the beginning of the health crisis, Dutch-language newspapers Het Laatste Nieuws and De Morgen reported on Friday.

Only 461 checks were carried out on the ground since 8 April, when physical visits were allowed again, the newspapers added. “Out of a total of 1.26 million temporary unemployed people with almost 140,000 employers, that number of checks is almost negligible,” they wrote.

The rules on temporary unemployment due to ‘force majeure’ (an event out of one’s control), adopted in response to the new coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, make it extremely difficult to detect fraud. The conditions of access are so broad and the flexibility for the employer so great that it makes checks almost impossible, the dailies explained.

Related Articles

 

So far, Onem has received 370 complaints about possible abuses of the system, but it has also launched some audits on its own initiative.

In the same newspapers, N-VA deputy Björn Anseeuw called for a tightening of the conditions of access, now that the temporary unemployment system has been extended until the end of August. “The back door to fraud is wide open,” Anseeuw said.

“The corona system of temporary unemployment remains in force until the end of August. We’re not going to change the conditions,” Employment Minister Nathalie Muylle replied.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

Latest news

New coronavirus infections above 3,000 for first time since May
The number of people testing positive for coronavirus has skyrocketed to the highest rate since the start of May 2021. Between 9 and 15 October, ...
Brussels Airport adds 10 flight destinations this winter
Some 130 destinations will be served from Brussels Airport this winter, the company announced on Monday, just a few days before the start of the ...
Brussels pharmacies report rush on rapid tests due to Covid Safe Ticket
Many pharmacists in Brussels have noticed a remarkable increase in the demand for Covid-19 tests this weekend, following the official expansion of ...
Students filmed naked on ULB campus given a warning
A group of students caught on camera mimicking sexual acts on the campus of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) have been issued an official ...
EU Digital Covid Certificate becomes an international success story
The European Commission adopted on Monday a report on the EU Digital Covid Certificate and its implementation across the EU. According to the ...
Belgian chocolatier agrees to $15 million settlement over misled consumers allegations
Internationally recognised Belgian chocolate manufacturer Godiva has reached a $15 million (€12.9 million) settlement after US consumers said they ...
‘Buying second home does not mean you are rich’: government disagrees on tax break
The Francophone liberal MR party and the Flemish socialist Vooruit party strongly disagree on the current scheme for tax benefits on people's second ...
EMA starts evaluating Pfizer vaccine for children over 5 years old
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has started evaluating an application to extend the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to children ...
Energy prices: EU’s demand and supply dilemma in importing natural gas
The European Commission adopted last week a plan on how to tackle the rise in global energy prices in the short-term while relying on the transition ...
Tram line and cycle path to connect Brussels’ outskirts to airport
Works on a tram line connecting Brussels, the NATO headquarters and Brussels Airport in Zaventem, which could attract up to 10,000 passengers a day, ...
SKYFALL: European police complete counter-drone training in Antwerp
In a joint project between Belgium’s federal police and the Brussels Capital Ixelles Policing Area, 15 European police officers visited Antwerp to ...
Offshore wind farms could help reach climate neutrality by 2050
A study carried out by the Bureau fédérale du Plan (BFP) – an independent Belgian organisation that investigates questions of environmental and ...