Temporary unemployment in Belgium - new procedure as from 1 January 2023 is showing via Sorry, we are closed on the door of the store. The text on the front of the Café or Restaurant is hanging on the door at the entrance.

Temporary unemployment in Belgium – new procedure as from 1 January 2023

What is the temporary unemployment ?

Temporary unemployment (Chômage temporaire (FR) / Tijdelijke werkloosheid (NL)) allows employers to not provide work to their employees and therefore not pay them any salary. The employees instead receive an allowance from the government.

What was applicable for temporary unemployment?

During the COVID-19 pandemic and until 31 December 2022, the Belgian government introduced a simplified procedure regarding the temporary unemployment in order to facilitate its use for employers.

Until 31 December 2023, employers also had the possibility to use the simplified procedure for the economic unemployment. Neither of these measures are possible anymore since 1 January 2023.

What changes in January 2023 for temporary unemployment?

Temporary unemployment in Belgium - new procedure as from 1 January 2023 is showing by a Group of diversity workers feel sad and stressed because they lost their jobs due to the pandemic virus

However, that does not mean that an employer who is currently facing economic challenges, does not have any possibility to use partial or complete temporary unemployment (albeit with more formalities than in 2022). Starting from 1 January 2023, the following three options may apply if an employer wishes to use temporary unemployment.

Temporary economic unemployment Temporary unemployment due to force majeure The temporary unemployment “energy”
Blue collar workers:

temporarily impossible for the employer to maintain the pace of work due to economic reasons. The lack of work has to be beyond the control of the employer.


White-collar workers:

for companies suffering economic difficulties.



In case of a sudden, unforeseen event beyond the control of the parties which makes the execution of the employment agreement temporarily totally impossible.


Example: a fire destroying the company, a power outage in an electricity plant outside the company etc.

the purchase of energy products (including energy products other than natural gas and electricity) represents at least 3% of the company’s added value for the calendar year 2021;


OR for the quarter preceding the quarter in which the employer wants to use the “energy” unemployment, the final energy bill has doubled compared to the final energy bill for the same quarter of the previous year


Temporary unemployment in Belgium - new procedure as from 1 January 2023 is showing by an application form for unemployment benefit on desk.The simplified procedure is over so please note that multiple formalities need to be fulfilled in order to use any of the above systems. If you wish to use any one of the above systems, feel free to contact Pro-Pay. They will be happy to check whether the eligibility conditions are met and assist with the necessary formalities where possible. Use the contact sheet to reach out to them.

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