Six-fold increase in number of people dismissed from work for medical reasons
Share article:
Share article:

Six-fold increase in number of people dismissed from work for medical reasons

Credit: Belga

In 2020, 3% of the total dismissals from work were due to medical reasons in Belgium, up from 0.5% in the previous year, according to a study by Partena Professional.

Women were disproportionately more affected (an increase of 426% in the number of cases since 2019) in comparison with men (an increase of 268%), however, Partena Professional explained this is due to the greater presence of women in the sectors most affected.

“In fact, it is mainly the sectors that were on the front line during the health crisis, which are predominantly composed of women, such as hospitals and department stores, that suffer the most dismissals due to medical force majeure,” said Wim Demey, Customer Intelligence Manager at Partena Professional.

Force majeure, in this case, is an unforeseeable event outside the control of the people involved and that prevents the employer from providing work and the employee from performing it.

The study found that people were equally affected by this problem across professional categories, meaning workers, employees, and managers were all as susceptible to dismissal for medical reasons.

In case of the employee’s permanent incapacity, legislation requires that a reinstatement procedure be initiated and completed in order to terminate the employment contract for force majeure (without notice or compensation) since 2017, which alongside the impact of the health crisis is considered the reason behind this sharp increase.

Returning to work

Federal Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke said on Tuesday he wants to offer better support for people who suffer from long-term illnesses to find a new job that they can better handle.

One in 10 employees is sick for a longer period of time, according to Vandenbroucke, who added that there are far too few medical advisers for this specific problem and that there is a need for a “return-to-work coordinator”, a function that he is working on launching.

“It comes down to creating teams in which different types of people play a part. In addition, you install a kind of return-to-work coordinator whose only task is to look for opportunities to go back to work,” he said.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Staff strike at application centre for asylum seekers
The staff of an application centre for asylum seekers in Brussels began a 24-strike on Monday morning, meaning that no one can apply for asylum there ...
Bpost plans to merge parcel and letter services in Belgium
The new CEO of Bpost – Belgium's primary mail delivery company and one of the country's largest civilian employers – has decided to merge the ...
Belgian playground bullying drama wins at London Film Festival
Playground (original title 'Un Monde'), the first feature film by Belgian director Laura Wandel, was awarded the top prize in the First Feature ...
Brussels launches initiatives to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety
Two new initiatives are being developed in Brussels to make the city safer and more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly, especially around key areas on ...
Vaccination coverage in Wallonia breaks 70 percent
The Wallonia Region in Belgium has reached the milestone of having 70 percent of its population receive at least one shot of a Covid-19 vaccine, ...
Belgian youth asked to skip school for Friday’s climate strike
Young people in Belgium have been called on by the climate movement Youth for Climate to once again skip school and take to the streets during the ...
Belgium to invest in sustainable heating in 2022
The Federal Government will set aside about €1 million in its 2022 budget for a social tariff for sustainable heating, Federal Energy Minister Tinne ...
Over 50,000 march against fascism in Rome
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated against fascism in Rome on Saturday, one week after violent protests against the Covid certificate. Over ...
Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...
Belgium’s health minister not in favour of a general booster shot
The latest figures on new coronavirus cases are worrying, but rather than imposing new safety measures, what is needed is full compliance with ...
Thousands protest against the Covid health pass in France
Demonstrations against the health pass and other measures aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus mobilised tens of thousands of protesters ...
Record-breaking 770-metre highline installed in Freÿr, Belgium
A 770-metre long highline was installed at an altitude of 70 metres at the Freÿr Rocks on Saturday, setting a new Belgian record, according to ...