Belgium’s Cabinet of Ministers on Friday adopted a measure allowing workers aged 60 years and above with strenuous jobs to have their work time reduced through a compensatory employer’s allowance exempt from social contributions. The Government sees this new mechanism as benefitting the State since the employee remains longer on the job market, and receives no pension or allowance during that time.
Social Affairs Minister Maggie De Block said the measure was based on a proposal from the metal sector and would be extended to the entire economic world.
Under the new system, workers aged 60 and above who do strenuous work can continue to be active four-fifths of the time and be exempted from teamwork or night work. According to the administration, between 23,000 and 28,000 workers could benefit from the system.
The Federal Government had earlier scrapped end-of-career worktime credit through which, from the age of 55, employees could have their work time reduced through an allowance from the National Employment Office, ONEM.