Belgium: Russian import ban hits food sector workers

Russia’s decision to prohibit imports from EU countries has hit workers in the Belgian food sector. It has led to the National Employment Office (ONEM) approving a status of ‘temporary unemployment’ for blue-collar and white-collar employees in the fruit and vegetable sector.

The status was originally approved for the period from August to September and then extended to the end of November.

The Russian import ban has led to a drastic fall in the amount of work in certain sectors of the food industry. The status of ‘temporary unemployment’ means that companies can ask employees to stay at home without dismissing them. The ruling means the ONEM will pay a proportion of a worker’s salary until the problem is resolved.

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