Outplacement

Belgium
Phase: Management
Type:
  • Advice
  • Matching/Networking
  • Social Dialogue
  • Training
Sidst ændret: 04 September, 2020
Lokalt navn:

Reclassement professionnel

Engelsk navn:

Outplacement

Coverage/Eligibility

Applicable to workers in the public and private sectors and entitled to at least 30 weeks' notice. It relates to the outplacement of workers and entrepreneurs who got unemployed as a result of the bankruptcy of the company (self-inflicted or imposed by the court) and thus the company can not pay the (often obligatory) outplacement guidance for the workers involved.

Main characteristics

Outplacement counsellors provide guidance and counselling services to workers to help them find a new job or to develop their own professional business. Among the services provided, one can mention the preparation for job interviews, training to update their skills. These services are usually paid by the employer. Some joint committees composed by sectoral social support outplacement costs through their sectoral social/training funds (e.g. JC 200 through CEVORA). The regional public employment offices and/or private companies specialised in outplacement services are responsible for providing the services throughout the process.

The general measure of outplacement has a very large scope and applies to workers in the public and private sector, entitled to at least 30 weeks’ notice. 

The legislation also clarifies the situation specificity for workers aged 45+ in the private sector when the period of notice is inferior to 30 weeks or in the case of managing the restructuring. For example, in the former case, when the period of notice is less than 30 weeks, the employment unit still provides a minimum of 60 hours of outplacement for workers aged 45+ for 6 months.

This social intervention fund finances the outplacement accompaniment following restructuring if the employer is unable to finance it himself. The repayment of the outplacement costs applies both to the business directors, faced with the company difficulties, as well to redundant workers who worked for the company up until a year before bankruptcy. Applications can be made by the bankruptcy trustee who was named by the commissioner in the judicial agreement, or by the employer in difficulty himself; the application by the employer is mandatory if approached by a worker representative. The outplacement programme is managed by a private provider accredited by the regional government.

In the Flanders area, the fund relates to the outplacement of workers and entrepreneurs who got unemployed as a result of the bankruptcy of the company (self-inflicted or imposed by the court) and thus the company cannot pay the (often obligatory) outplacement guidance for the workers involved. The fund is linked to the reconversion cells for companies under restructuring. The Social Intervention Fund assigns an outplacement provider and pays the outplacement guidance/counselling and the possible cost of any scheduled training for the redundant person. The guidance continues when the person is back in employment. The purpose of the guidance is to enable the worker to find a job with a new employer or to start an activity as self-employed as quickly as possible. 

The total budget of the fund is more than €3 million. An outplacement costs on average around €2,500 per person.

Funding

  • Regional funds
  • Trade union
  • Employer

Involved actors

National government
Service Public Fédéral Emploi, Travail et Concertation Sociale, Direction générale des Relations individuelles du travail
Anden
Outplacement offices/regional public employment services

Effectiveness

1,330 employees received outplacement in 378 cases (2011 figures). The success ratio of getting people back to work is not higher or lower compared to other restructuring cases, according to an evaluation document of 2012.

In 2015, some 16,442 outplacement guidance cases were identified, with 13,404 cases following individual dismissal and 3,038 following after collective dismissal. In 2016, 53% of the candidates in the outplacement were aged 45-55 years and 19% were 55+.

In 2019, a total of 13,617 outplacement guidance cases were initiated, with 11,204 among them following after individual dismissal and 2,413 after collective dismissal. In total, 25% of candidates for outplacement were younger than 45 years old, 48% between 45-54 years old and 27% 55+.

According to Federgon, the government wants to favour a rapid reintegration of redundant workers in the labour market and underlines the importance that the workers are jointly responsible for managing their careers. However, the employer association underlines the necessity to simplify and harmonise the different outplacement measures (linked to the period of notice, the age, etc.).

Strengths

Outplacement is required under the Belgian law for workers older than 45 years and stimulated in other cases of collective dismissal. This instrument facilitates the implementation and financial sustainability of outplacement schemes in case of a collective dismissal linked bankruptcy or closure of a company.

Outplacement activities are supervised and governed by a government agency, which helps to guarantee the quality of counselling. The activities are also tendered collectively, which has a positive impact on keeping the costs low.

Weaknesses

No information available.

Eksempler

No information available.
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