The "Derde Arbeidscircuit", a government-sponsored employment scheme introduced in Belgium in 1982, is aimed at providing employment in the non-commercial sector for the long-term unemployed. It is directed at workers who have been wholly unemployed and drawing unemployment benefit for at least two years or for at least two years during the past four years.

These workers can be employed by non-profit-making organizations and de facto organizations for permanent forms of work which simultaneously: are of public importance, socially useful or of cultural value; are non-profit-making; meet community needs which cannot be met otherwise. For a number of work activities defined by law, these organizations can place such workers at the disposal of third parties, for example in providing cleaning services for the elderly.

The workers concerned are hired under an open-ended employment contract. They receive a wage that corresponds to the minimum wage for government employees. The government pays the major share of funding for these jobs.

The Scheme has now been superseded (see subsidized contract employees ).

Please note: the European industrial relations glossaries were compiled between 1991 and 2003 and are not updated. For current material see the European industrial relations dictionary.